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Date: August 22, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on Poland and Russia.

THE ARTICLE

Poland and U.S. sign missile shield deal

American and Polish leaders have signed a deal that allows the US to place a missile shield in Poland. The agreement has caused deep anger in Russia, with Moscow saying it will retaliate. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed her amazement as to why Russia is so upset with the situation. She told reporters that: "Missile defence, of course, is aimed at no one. It is in our defence that we do this…It is not aimed in any way at Russia." She explained that the only reason for the shield was to deal with threats from “rogue states”. "This will help us to deal with the new threats of the 21st century of long-range missiles from countries like Iran or from North Korea," she said. The signing comes amid heightened US-Russian tensions over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.


 
 

Russia has warned the world that the missile shield has started a dangerous new arms race. Moscow said the ten Interceptor missiles the USA will base in Poland are a threat to Russia’s security. The Kremlin warned Poland’s leaders that Poland could be a target if Russia has to defend itself. Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cautioned the White House, saying: "We will be forced to respond to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." The Russian government has not made it clear how it will retaliate, although a foreign ministry spokesman said it would not be just diplomatic measures. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had strong words for the Kremlin, saying: "Our neighbours should now understand that our nation will never give in nor allow itself to be intimidated".


 
 

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.

 

deals / deep anger / retaliation / amazement / rogue states / new threats / tension / arms race / target / defending oneself / retaliate / diplomatic measures / strong words

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

3. THREATS: What threats does your country face? Make notes about the threats below. Are they small or large threats (10= huge, 1= small)? How would you deal with them? Change partners and share your ideas.

Threats

Notes

1-10

Dealing with them

Security

 

 

 

Environmental

 

 

 

Terrorism

 

 

 

Neighbours

 

 

 

Economy

 

 

 

Government

 

 

 

4. COLD WAR: Students A strongly believe America and Russia are heading back to a cold war; Students B strongly believe America and Russia will soon be best friends. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

5. FEELINGS: Look at the feelings below. With your partner(s), make a news story about the USA and Russia that expresses each feeling. Change partners and share your stories. Who has the best ones?

  • deep anger
  • amazement
  • tension
  • horror
  • relief
  • shock
  • uneasiness
  • great optimism

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

America will place missiles on Polish soil.

T / F

b.

Russia is furious at the deal and said it will hit back.

T / F

c.

Condoleezza Rice is not at all amazed at the Russian response.

T / F

d.

Rice said America had to deal with threats from 21 rogue countries.

T / F

e.

Russia has warned the US-Polish deal means there is a new arms race.

T / F

f.

Russia has warned Poles their country could be an American target.

T / F

g.

Russia said it will hit back with diplomatic and other measures.

T / F

h.

The Polish president told Russia to respect Poland’s independence.

T / F

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

1.

deal

a.

hit back

2

caused

b.

threatened

3.

retaliate

c.

agreement

4.

deal with

d.

weapons

5.

heightened

e.

handle

6.

arms

f.

sufficiently

7.

base

g.

created

8.

adequately

h.

site

9.

measures

i.

increased

10.

intimidated

j.

actions

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

1.

The agreement has caused deep anger

a.

words for the Kremlin

2

Condoleezza Rice expressed

b.

of the 21st century

3.

It is not aimed in any

c.

itself

4.

deal with the new threats

d.

Russia’s security

5.

heightened US-Russian

e.

in Russia

6.

a dangerous new arms

f.

her amazement

7.

a threat to

g.

give in

8.

Russia has to defend

h.

tensions

9.

President Lech Kaczynski had strong

i.

way at Russia

10.

our nation will never

j.

race

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

American and Polish leaders have signed a __________ that allows the US to place a missile shield in Poland. The agreement has caused __________ anger in Russia, with Moscow saying it will retaliate. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice __________ her amazement as to why Russia is so upset with the situation. She told reporters that: "Missile defence, of course, is __________ at no one. It is in our defence that we do this…It is not aimed in any __________ at Russia." She explained that the only reason for the shield was to deal with threats from “rogue __________”. "This will help us to deal with the new threats of the 21st century of long-__________ missiles from countries like Iran or from North Korea," she said. The signing comes amid heightened US-Russian __________ over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.

 

states
aimed
deep
tensions
deal
range
way
expressed

Russia has warned the world that the missile shield has __________ a dangerous new arms race. Moscow said the ten Interceptor missiles the USA will __________ in Poland are a threat to Russia’s security. The Kremlin warned Poland’s leaders that Poland could be a __________ if Russia has to defend itself. Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev __________ the White House, saying: "We will be forced to __________ to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." The Russian government has not made it __________ how it will retaliate, although a foreign ministry spokesman said it would not be just diplomatic __________. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had strong words for the Kremlin, saying: "Our neighbours should now understand that our nation will never give in nor __________ itself to be intimidated".

 

clear
 
cautioned
measures
respond
base
started
allow
target

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

American and Polish leaders have signed _______________ the US to place a missile shield in Poland. The agreement has caused deep anger in Russia, with Moscow saying _______________. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed her amazement as to why Russia is so upset with the situation. She told reporters that: "Missile defence, of course, _______________ one. It is in our defence that we do this…It is not aimed _______________ Russia." She explained that the only reason for the shield _______________ threats from “rogue states”. "This will help us to deal with the _______________ 21st century of long-range missiles from countries like Iran or from North Korea," she said. The _______________ heightened US-Russian tensions over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.

Russia has warned the _______________ missile shield has started a dangerous new arms race. Moscow said the ten Interceptor missiles the USA will base in Poland _______________ Russia’s security. The Kremlin warned Poland’s leaders that Poland could be a target if Russia _______________  itself. Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cautioned the White House, saying: "We will _______________ respond to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." The Russian government has not made it _______________ retaliate, although a foreign ministry spokesman said it _______________ diplomatic measures. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had strong words for the Kremlin, saying: "Our neighbours should now understand that our nation will never give in _______________ be intimidated".


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

arms

race

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • signed
  • deep
  • upset
  • reason
  • 21st
  • amid
  • arms
  • base
  • target
  • cautioned
  • just
  • give in

STUDENT ARMS RACE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about a possible arms race 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.

ARMS RACE 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 ‘missile’?

c)

What do you think of the America’s missile shield in Poland?

d)

Do you think Russia is right to feel threatened by the USA?

e)

What do you think Russia is afraid of?

f)

Do you think Russia is jealous that its former allies are now on America’s side?

g)

Do you think Poles are happy with the US missile shield on their land?

h)

Do you understand why Condoleezza Rice is so amazed at Russia?

i)

Do you think the missile shield is necessary?

j)

Do you think US-Russian relations will worsen?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you agree with Russia that America’s new missile shield is the start of a new arms race?

c)

Are ten missiles in Poland so much of a threat to Russia? Isn’t the Kremlin over-reacting?

d)

Is Russia being aggressive in warning Poland it could become a Russian target?

e)

What non-diplomatic measures could Russia take to retaliate?

f)

What do you think of the idea of Russia needing to retaliate?

g)

Is the missile shield simply America bullying other nations?

h)

What tensions exist between Russia and the USA?

i)

Do you think Russia is slipping back into the dark days of the Cold War?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Russian President Dmitry Medvedev?

LANGUAGE

American and Polish leaders have (1) ____ a deal that allows the US to place a missile shield in Poland. The agreement has caused (2) ____ anger in Russia, with Moscow saying it will retaliate. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed her amazement (3) ____ to why Russia is so upset with the situation. She told reporters that: "Missile defence, of course, is aimed at no one. It is (4) ____ our defence that we do this…It is not aimed in any way at Russia." She explained that the only reason for the shield was to deal with threats from “(5) ____ states”. "This will help us to deal with the new threats of the 21st century of long-range missiles from countries like Iran or from North Korea," she said. The signing comes (6) ____ heightened US-Russian tensions over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.

Russia has warned the world that the missile shield has started a dangerous new (7) ____ race. Moscow said the ten Interceptor missiles the USA will (8) ____ in Poland are a threat to Russia’s security. The Kremlin warned Poland’s leaders that Poland could be a (9) ____ if Russia has to defend itself. Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cautioned the White House, saying: "We will be forced to respond to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." The Russian government has not made it (10) ____ how it will retaliate, although a foreign ministry spokesman said it would not be just diplomatic measures. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had (11) ____ words for the Kremlin, saying: "Our neighbours should now understand that our nation will never give in (12) ____ allow itself to be intimidated".

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

1.

(a)

signing

(b)

snagged

(c)

singed

(d)

signed

2.

(a)

deeply

(b)

deep

(c)

deepness

(d)

depth

3.

(a)

as

(b)

of

(c)

in

(d)

on

4.

(a)

of

(b)

by

(c)

in

(d)

with

5.

(a)

vague

(b)

vogue

(c)

rogue

(d)

segue

6.

(a)

mid

(b)

amid

(c)

middle

(d)

middling

7.

(a)

arms

(b)

elbows

(c)

wrists

(d)

biceps

8.

(a)

vase

(b)

ease

(c)

case

(d)

base

9.

(a)

aim

(b)

target

(c)

bulls eye

(d)

goal

10.

(a)

clears

(b)

clarity

(c)

clearly

(d)

clear

11.

(a)

power

(b)

muscular

(c)

strong

(d)

strength

12.

(a)

nor

(b)

neither

(c)

not

(d)

non

WRITING: 

Write about world tensions 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 America’s missile shield. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. HISTORY: Make a poster about the history of Russia and America over the past 100 years. What are the key moments in their relations and who are the key people. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. IN THE MIDDLE: Write a magazine article about Polish citizens caught in the middle of US-Russian tensions. Include (imaginary) interviews with a Pole who supports the missile shield and one who doesn’t. What do they think of Russia and America?

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 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Ask him three questions about America. Make three suggestions on what he should do about Russia’s relations with America. 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. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

deal

a.

agreement

2

caused

b.

created

3.

retaliate

c.

hit back

4.

deal with

d.

handle

5.

heightened

e.

increased

6.

arms

f.

weapons

7.

base

g.

site

8.

adequately

h.

sufficiently

9.

measures

i.

actions

10.

intimidated

j.

threatened

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The agreement has caused deep anger

a.

in Russia

2

Condoleezza Rice expressed

b.

her amazement

3.

It is not aimed in any

c.

way at Russia

4.

deal with the new threats

d.

of the 21st century

5.

heightened US-Russian

e.

tensions

6.

a dangerous new arms

f.

race

7.

a threat to

g.

Russia’s security

8.

Russia has to defend

h.

itself

9.

President Lech Kaczynski had strong

i.

words for the Kremlin

10.

our nation will never

j.

give in

GAP FILL:

Poland and U.S. sign missile shield deal

American and Polish leaders have signed a deal that allows the US to place a missile shield in Poland. The agreement has caused deep anger in Russia, with Moscow saying it will retaliate. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed her amazement as to why Russia is so upset with the situation. She told reporters that: "Missile defence, of course, is aimed at no one. It is in our defence that we do this…It is not aimed in any way at Russia." She explained that the only reason for the shield was to deal with threats from “rogue states”. "This will help us to deal with the new threats of the 21st century of long-range missiles from countries like Iran or from North Korea," she said. The signing comes amid heightened US-Russian tensions over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.

Russia has warned the world that the missile shield has started a dangerous new arms race. Moscow said the ten Interceptor missiles the USA will base in Poland are a threat to Russia’s security. The Kremlin warned Poland’s leaders that Poland could be a target if Russia has to defend itself. Last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cautioned the White House, saying: "We will be forced to respond to this adequately. The EU and US have been warned." The Russian government has not made it clear how it will retaliate, although a foreign ministry spokesman said it would not be just diplomatic measures. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski had strong words for the Kremlin, saying: "Our neighbours should now understand that our nation will never give in nor allow itself to be intimidated".

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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