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Date: September 30, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on Antarctica and tourism.

THE ARTICLE

Protecting Antarctica from tourism

A solution may be at hand for holidaymakers who are finding it harder to get off the beaten track. For those who really want to get away from it all, a new holiday destination has sprung up – Antarctica. However, this new hotspot, or freezing zone, might only be for those with the deepest pockets if a new policy gets under way. Tourism on Antarctica has been increasing dramatically in the past twenty years, from a few thousand people in 1985 to more than 40,000 in 2007. The growing numbers are having a negative effect on the pristine environment of the South Pole. To combat this, researchers from Holland’s Maastricht University have come up with a possible solution: limit the number of tourists allowed to visit and auction the vacations to the highest bidders.


 
 

Many environmental protection agencies agree that there is a need to protect the frozen wilderness from the damage created by modern tourism. Antarctica is the last unspoiled place on Earth. It has a very delicate ecosystem that could be easily upset by hordes of tourists landing in airplanes and using skimobiles. A difficulty exists because Antarctica is not a country and therefore has no government to pass laws or guidelines to control the number of visitors. The Maastricht University team’s proposal to auction off a fixed number of tourist places seems a workable solution. It would limit the number of visitors and therefore contain the amount of environmental damage, and the money would be used to protect Antarctica’s future. For further details, consult your local South Pole travel agent.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. ANTARCTICA: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Antarctica. 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.

 

solutions / holidaymakers / getting off the beaten track / hotspots / deep pockets / environmental protection / wilderness / delicate ecosystems / auctions / travel agents

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

3. OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: Do you like to get away from it all and go somewhere far away from everything? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share your ideas. Where is the best and worst place to go for a holiday?

Destination

Good things

Bad things

Antarctica

 

 

The Moon

 

 

Middle of the Sahara

 

 

The Amazon jungle

 

 

The deepest caves

 

 

4. SOUTH POLE: Students A strongly believe no tourists should be allowed to go to Antarctica. It should be protected forever; Students B strongly believe people should be allowed to vacation on the South Pole. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

5. HOLIDAYS: What is the best holiday for you? Rank the vacation types below in order of which you like most. Talk to your partner(s) about your rankings.

_____  beach

_____  shopping

_____  hiking and camping

_____  cities and culture

_____  adventure

_____  working voluntarily

_____  skiing

_____  other (_______________)

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

Antarctica is a good place for tourists who want to avoid the crowds.

T / F

b.

You cannot go to Antarctica without lots of big pockets.

T / F

c.

More and more people are going to Antarctica every year.

T / F

d.

A major global tour company will soon buy Antarctica at an auction.

T / F

e.

There are no more unspoiled places left on Earth.

T / F

f.

Antarctica became a country more than two hundred years ago.

T / F

g.

There is no government in Antarctica to make laws.

T / F

h.

Money from auctioning tourist places might help Antarctica’s future.

T / F

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

1.

at hand

a.

idea

2

sprung up

b.

pure

3.

gets under way

c.

near

4.

pristine

d.

popped up

5.

limit

e.

starts

6.

wilderness

f.

achievable

7.

delicate

g.

talk to

8.

proposal

h.

great outdoors

9.

workable

i.

restrict

10.

consult

j.

fragile

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

1.

A solution may be at

a.

tourists

2

get off the beaten

b.

environment

3.

get away from

c.

place on Earth

4.

for those with the deepest

d.

the frozen wilderness

5.

a negative effect on the pristine

e.

track

6.

there is a need to protect

f.

of tourist places

7.

Antarctica is the last unspoiled

g.

hand

8.

hordes of

h.

environmental damage

9.

auction off a fixed number

i.

it all

10.

contain the amount of

j.

pockets

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A solution may be at __________ for holidaymakers who are finding it harder to get off the beaten __________. For those who really want to get away from it all, a new holiday destination has sprung up – Antarctica. However, this new __________, or freezing zone, might only be for those with the deepest __________ if a new policy gets under way. Tourism on Antarctica has been increasing __________ in the past twenty years, from a few thousand people in 1985 to more than 40,000 in 2007. The growing numbers are having a __________ effect on the pristine environment of the South Pole. To __________ this, researchers from Holland’s Maastricht University have come up with a possible solution: limit the number of tourists allowed to visit and auction the vacations to the __________ bidders.

 

negative
pockets
track
dramatically
hand
highest
combat
hotspot

Many environmental protection agencies __________ that there is a need to protect the frozen wilderness from the damage __________ by modern tourism. Antarctica is the last unspoiled place on Earth. It has a very delicate ecosystem that could be easily __________ by hordes of tourists landing in airplanes and using skimobiles. A difficulty exists because Antarctica is not a country and therefore has no government to __________ laws or guidelines to control the number of visitors. The Maastricht University team’s proposal to auction __________ a fixed number of tourist places seems a workable solution. It would __________ the number of visitors and therefore contain the amount of environmental damage, and the money would be used to protect Antarctica’s __________. For further details, __________ your local South Pole travel agent.

 

future
 
agree
limit
pass
created
consult
upset
off

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A solution may ______________ holidaymakers who are finding it harder ______________ beaten track. For those who really want to get away from it all, a new holiday destination ______________ – Antarctica. However, this new hotspot, or freezing zone, might only be for those with the deepest pockets if a new policy ______________. Tourism on Antarctica has been increasing dramatically ______________ years, from a few thousand people in 1985 to more than ______________. The growing numbers are having a negative effect on the pristine environment of the South Pole. ______________, researchers from Holland’s Maastricht University have come up with a possible solution: ______________ of tourists allowed to visit and auction the vacations to the highest bidders.

Many environmental protection agencies ______________ is a need to protect the frozen wilderness from the damage created by modern tourism. Antarctica ______________ unspoiled place on Earth. It has a very delicate ecosystem that could be easily upset ______________ tourists landing in airplanes and using skimobiles. A difficulty exists because Antarctica is not a country and therefore has no government ______________ guidelines to control the number of visitors. The Maastricht University team’s proposal ______________ fixed number of tourist places seems a workable solution. It would ______________ of visitors and therefore contain the amount of environmental damage, and the money would be used to protect Antarctica’s future. For further details, ______________ South Pole travel agent.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

hot

spot

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • hand
  • away
  • pockets
  • negative
  • combat
  • bidders
  • frozen
  • delicate
  • difficulty
  • proposal
  • money
  • consult

STUDENT TOURISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about tourism 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.

ANTARCTICA TOURISM 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 ‘tourism’?

c)

Would you like to go on holiday to Antarctica?

d)

Do you like to get off the beaten track?

e)

What is the ‘all’ in ‘get away from it all’?

f)

Where is your perfect holiday destination?

g)

Do you think Antarctica should be set up as a holiday destination?

h)

How long do you think it will be before there is serious environmental damage in Antarctica?

i)

Are there any pristine parts of your country?

j)

Is it a good idea to auction holiday places to the highest bidders?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you imagine vacationing in a frozen wilderness to be like?

c)

Is modern tourism a force for good?

d)

Should we now do what we can to keep Earth’s unspoiled places unspoiled?

e)

Where are there usually hordes of tourists? Have you ever been part of the hordes?

f)

Do you think Antarctica should become a country?

g)

What does Antarctica mean to the world?

h)

What delicate ecosystems are there in your country?

i)

Do you have deep pockets?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the Maastricht Uni. researchers?

LANGUAGE

A solution may be at (1) ____ for holidaymakers who are finding it harder to get off the (2) ____ track. For those who really want to get away from it (3) ____, a new holiday destination has sprung up – Antarctica. However, this new hotspot, or freezing zone, might only be for those with the deepest pockets if a new policy gets (4) ____ way. Tourism on Antarctica has been increasing (5) ____ in the past twenty years, from a few thousand people in 1985 to more than 40,000 in 2007. The growing numbers are having a negative effect on the pristine environment of the South Pole. To combat this, researchers from Holland’s Maastricht University have come (6) ____ with a possible solution: limit the number of tourists allowed to visit and auction the vacations to the highest bidders.

Many environmental protection agencies agree that there is a (7) ____ to protect the frozen wilderness from the damage created by modern tourism. Antarctica is the last unspoiled place on Earth. It has a very delicate ecosystem that could be (8) ____ upset by hordes of tourists landing in airplanes and using skimobiles. A difficulty (9) ____ because Antarctica is not a country and therefore has no government to (10) ____ laws or guidelines to control the number of visitors. The Maastricht University team’s proposal to auction off a fixed number of tourist places seems a workable solution. It would limit the number of visitors and therefore (11) ____ the amount of environmental damage, and the money would be used to protect Antarctica’s future. For further details, (12) ____ your local South Pole travel agent.

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

1.

(a)

fist

(b)

knuckles

(c)

palm

(d)

hand

2.

(a)

beat

(b)

beating

(c)

beaten

(d)

beats

3.

(a)

everything

(b)

all

(c)

whole

(d)

all of it

4.

(a)

under

(b)

above

(c)

over

(d)

beneath

5.

(a)

dramatic

(b)

drama

(c)

dramatically

(d)

dramas

6.

(a)

down

(b)

over

(c)

above

(d)

up

7.

(a)

necessary

(b)

need

(c)

needy

(d)

needless

8.

(a)

easily

(b)

easy

(c)

ease

(d)

uneasy

9.

(a)

exits

(b)

exists

(c)

exiles

(d)

existing

10.

(a)

past

(b)

passed

(c)

pass

(d)

passing

11.

(a)

contain

(b)

continue

(c)

count

(d)

contact

12.

(a)

consulting

(b)

consultant

(c)

consultancy

(d)

consult

WRITING: 

Write about Antarctica 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 Antarctica tourism. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. PRISTINE: Make a poster about some of the Earth’s the pristine areas. Are they under threat? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. GO AWAY: Write a magazine article about tourism in Antarctica. Include imaginary interviews with a tour company CEO who sees millions of dollars of profit and a penguin who wants Antarctica to be left alone.

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 on vacation in Antarctica. Write about your first day there. You arrived very early in the morning. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

6. POSTCARD: You are on vacation in Antarctica. Send your friends a postcard from the South Pole. Read your postcard to your classmates in the next lesson.

7. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the penguins in Antarctica. Ask him/her three questions about his/her land. Ask him/her what three things he/she wants humans to do (or not do) in the future. 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. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

at hand

a.

near

2

sprung up

b.

popped up

3.

gets under way

c.

starts

4.

pristine

d.

pure

5.

limit

e.

restrict

6.

wilderness

f.

great outdoors

7.

delicate

g.

fragile

8.

proposal

h.

idea

9.

workable

i.

achievable

10.

consult

j.

talk to

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A solution may be at

a.

hand

2

get off the beaten

b.

track

3.

get away from

c.

it all

4.

for those with the deepest

d.

pockets

5.

a negative effect on the pristine

e.

environment

6.

there is a need to protect

f.

the frozen wilderness

7.

Antarctica is the last unspoiled

g.

place on Earth

8.

hordes of

h.

tourists

9.

auction off a fixed number

i.

of tourist places

10.

contain the amount of

j.

environmental damage

GAP FILL:

Protecting Antarctica from tourism

A solution may be at hand for holidaymakers who are finding it harder to get off the beaten track. For those who really want to get away from it all, a new holiday destination has sprung up – Antarctica. However, this new hotspot, or freezing zone, might only be for those with the deepest pockets if a new policy gets under way. Tourism on Antarctica has been increasing dramatically in the past twenty years, from a few thousand people in 1985 to more than 40,000 in 2007. The growing numbers are having a negative effect on the pristine environment of the South Pole. To combat this, researchers from Holland’s Maastricht University have come up with a possible solution: limit the number of tourists allowed to visit and auction the vacations to the highest bidders.

Many environmental protection agencies agree that there is a need to protect the frozen wilderness from the damage created by modern tourism. Antarctica is the last unspoiled place on Earth. It has a very delicate ecosystem that could be easily upset by hordes of tourists landing in airplanes and using skimobiles. A difficulty exists because Antarctica is not a country and therefore has no government to pass laws or guidelines to control the number of visitors. The Maastricht University team’s proposal to auction off a fixed number of tourist places seems a workable solution. It would limit the number of visitors and therefore contain the amount of environmental damage, and the money would be used to protect Antarctica’s future. For further details, consult your local South Pole travel agent.

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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