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Date: December 2, 2008
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THE ARTICLE

Thai protesters continue airport sit-in

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to occupy the city’s airports. The protests are led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who wants the Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, to resign. Thousands of PAD followers have refused to obey police orders to end their sit-in of Bangkok’s airports. The government believes the army is helping the protestors, and so has to rely on the police to bring the crisis to an end. The PAD is very well-organized and seems prepared to stay for a long time. Its protests are causing a lot of damage to Thailand’s image and its $15-billion tourism industry. Estimates are that the country is losing over $80 million a day. Around 100,000 international tourists are waiting to leave the country.


 
 

The PAD did let 37 planes fly out of Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday to help stranded passengers get home. Many of the planes headed to provincial airports outside of Bangkok, where angry and tired travelers have been waiting for days. One passenger, Diane Miller from New Zealand, said she was relieved to be going home: “This has caused chaos to my life. I’m not even sure I’ll have a job to back to when I get home,” she said. Airport officials told news agencies that severe disruption would continue for up to a week after the protests ended. They said that getting the airport up and running again would be a major operational and logistical nightmare. “We’ll take things step by step, a day at a time,” said one official.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. AIRPORTS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about airports. 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.

 

protests / airports / army / sit-ins / crisis / tourism industry / image / waiting to leave / passengers / angry and tired / being relieved / chaos / disruption / nightmares

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

3. PROTESTS: How would protests and sit-ins affect your life? Complete the table below with your partner(s). Share what you wrote with other students.

Protest

Life with no service would be…

I would…

No airports

 

 

No roads

 

 

No Internet

 

 

No electricity

 

 

No English lessons

 

 

4. SIT-INS: Students A strongly believe people should never, ever, ever protest in airports; Students B strongly believe it’s OK to protest in airports if it makes the government listen. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. WAITING: Do you do a lot of waiting? Are you good at waiting? Discuss the things you might wait for below with your partner(s). Change partners and discuss what you talked about. Who is the most patient and impatient student?

  • Buses and trains
  • Websites to load
  • Wealth and happiness
  • Friends to arrive
  • Letters and parcels to arrive
  • English or other exam grades
  • Hospital and dental appointments
  • The paint to dry / The grass to grow

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

Hundreds of airplane passengers are protesting in Bangkok airports.

T / F

b.

People are protesting because they want the Thai leader to quit.

T / F

c.

The army is ready to help stop the airport protests.

T / F

d.

Non-stop news of the protests is helping Thailand’s tourism industry.

T / F

e.

No planes have left the airport in 37 days.

T / F

f.

One delayed passenger fears for her job when she gets home.

T / F

g.

The airports will need a week to recover from the protests.

T / F

h.

An official said getting things back to normal would be a nightmare.

T / F

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

1.

protests

a.

madness

2

resign

b.

depend

3.

obey

c.

very bad

4.

rely

d.

step down

5.

estimates

e.

thankful

6.

stranded

f.

guesses

7.

relieved

g.

sit-ins

8.

chaos

h.

helpless

9.

severe

i.

headache

10.

nightmare

j.

follow

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

1.

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to

a.

the crisis to an end

2

followers have refused to obey

b.

up to a week

3.

rely on the police to bring

c.

and running again

4.

Estimates are that the country is

d.

police orders

5.

100,000 international tourists are

e.

losing over $80 million a day

6.

planes headed to provincial airports

f.

step by step

7.

relieved to be

g.

occupy the city’s airports

8.

severe disruption would continue for

h.

going home

9.

getting the airport up

i.

outside of Bangkok

10.

We’ll take things

j.

waiting to leave the country

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to __________ the city’s airports. The protests are __________ by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who wants the Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, to __________. Thousands of PAD followers have refused to obey police orders to end their sit-in of Bangkok’s airports. The government believes the army is helping the protesters, and so has to __________ on the police to bring the __________ to an end. The PAD is very well-organized and seems prepared to stay for a long time. Its protests are causing a lot of damage to Thailand’s __________ and its $15-billion tourism industry. Estimates are that the country is __________ over $80 million a day. Around 100,000 international tourists are __________ to leave the country.

 

image
rely
resign
occupy
waiting
crisis
losing
led

The PAD did let 37 planes fly out of Bangkok's __________ Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday to help stranded passengers get home. Many of the planes headed to provincial airports __________ of Bangkok, where angry and tired travelers have been waiting for days. One passenger, Diane Miller from New Zealand, said she was __________ to be going home: “This has caused __________ to my life. I’m not even sure I’ll have a job to back to when I get home,” she said. Airport officials told news agencies that __________ disruption would continue for up to a week after the __________ ended. They said that getting the airport up and running again would be a major operational and logistical __________. “We’ll take things step by step, a day at a __________,” said one official.

 

nightmare
main
chaos
protests
outside
time
relieved
severe

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Protesters in Bangkok are _____________________ the city’s airports. The protests are led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who wants the Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, to resign. Thousands of PAD followers have _____________________ police orders to end their sit-in of Bangkok’s airports. The government believes the army is helping the protesters, and _____________________ the police to bring the crisis to an end. The PAD is very well-organized and seems prepared to stay for a long time. Its protests are causing _____________________ Thailand’s image and its $15-billion tourism industry. Estimates are that the country is losing over $80 million a day. Around 100,000 international tourists are waiting _____________________.

The PAD did let 37 planes fly out of Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday _____________________ passengers get home. Many of the planes headed to provincial airports outside of Bangkok, _____________________  travelers have been waiting for days. One passenger, Diane Miller from New Zealand, said she _____________________ going home: “This has caused chaos to my life. I’m not even sure I’ll have a job to back to when I get home,” she said. Airport officials told news agencies that _____________________ would continue for up to a week after the protests ended. They said that getting the airport up and running again would be a major operational and _____________________. “We’ll take things step by step, a day at a time,” said one official.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

sit

in

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • led
  • obey
  • rely
  • seems
  • image
  • losing
  • 37
  • outside
  • home
  • job
  • week
  • step

STUDENT PROTEST SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about protests and protesting 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.

BANGKOK PROTESTS 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 ‘protests’?

c)

What do you think of the protests at Bangkok airports?

d)

What kind of protests take place in your country?

e)

[Have you ever taken / Would you ever take] part in a protest?

f)

What are the protesters in Thailand protesting about?

g)

Do you think occupying an international airport is an effective form of protesting?

h)

Do you think the Thai prime minister should resign?

i)

What should Thailand’s government do to end the protests?

j)

Do you think the stranded passengers should claim compensation?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Have the Bangkok airport protests changed your image of Thailand?

c)

How do you think the protesters can be so well organized?

d)

How would you feel if you were stranded at a Bangkok airport for days?

e)

Do you think the protesters need to think more about the stranded passengers?

f)

When was the last time you were relieved?

g)

When was the last time there was chaos in your life?

h)

Have you ever done anything that was a nightmare?

i)

What things do you do step-by-step?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the PAD leaders?

LANGUAGE

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to (1)____ the city’s airports. The protests are led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who wants the Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, to (2)____. Thousands of PAD followers have refused to obey police orders to end their sit-in of Bangkok’s airports. The government believes the army is helping the protesters, and so has to rely (3)____ the police to bring the crisis (4)____ an end. The PAD is very well-organized and seems prepared to stay for a long time. Its protests are causing a lot of damage to Thailand’s (5)____ and its $15-billion tourism industry. Estimates are that the country is losing over $80 million a day. (6)____ 100,000 international tourists are waiting to leave the country.

The PAD did let 37 planes fly out of Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday to help (7)____ passengers get home. Many of the planes (8)____ to provincial airports outside of Bangkok, where angry and tired travelers have been waiting for days. One passenger, Diane Miller from New Zealand, said she was (9)____ to be going home: “This has caused chaos to my life. I’m not even sure I’ll have a job to back to when I get home,” she said. Airport officials told news agencies that (10)____ disruption would continue for up to a week after the protests ended. They said that getting the airport (11)____ and running again would be a major operational and logistical nightmare. “We’ll take things step by (12)____, a day at a time,” said one official.

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

1.

(a)

occupation

(b)

occupy

(c)

occupies

(d)

occupying

2.

(a)

resigning

(b)

resigned

(c)

resign

(d)

resignation

3.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

an

(d)

into

4.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

to

5.

(a)

imagery

(b)

imagine

(c)

image

(d)

imaging

6.

(a)

Around

(b)

Near

(c)

Adjacent

(d)

Most

7.

(a)

strand

(b)

stranding

(c)

strands

(d)

stranded

8.

(a)

kneed

(b)

headed

(c)

footed

(d)

shouldered

9.

(a)

relief

(b)

relieving

(c)

relieves

(d)

relieved

10.

(a)

severity

(b)

severed

(c)

severe

(d)

severing

11.

(a)

down

(b)

up

(c)

along

(d)

out

12.

(a)

step

(b)

stair

(c)

ladder

(d)

staircase

WRITING: 

Write about airports 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 People’s Alliance for Democracy and its protests at Bangkok’s airports. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. PROTESTS: Think of something you would like to protest against. Make a poster outlining the reasons for your protest. Include an action plan for your protests (where, when, how, etc.). Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. STRANDED: Write a magazine article about a passenger being stranded for days and days at a Bangkok airport. What disruption has it caused? Include imaginary interviews with the passenger, a PAD spokesperson and the Thai prime minister.

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 the leader of the PAD. Ask him/her three questions about the protests. Give him/her your three ideas on what to do to protest in a way that doesn’t damage Thailand’s tourism industry. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are stranded at a Bangkok airport. Write a diary entry about one day there. What do you see? How do you get food? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

protests

a.

sit-ins

2

resign

b.

step down

3.

obey

c.

follow

4.

rely

d.

depend

5.

estimates

e.

guesses

6.

stranded

f.

helpless

7.

relieved

g.

thankful

8.

chaos

h.

madness

9.

severe

i.

very bad

10.

nightmare

j.

headache

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to

a.

occupy the city’s airports

2

followers have refused to obey

b.

police orders

3.

rely on the police to bring

c.

the crisis to an end

4.

Estimates are that the country is

d.

losing over $80 million a day

5.

100,000 international tourists are

e.

waiting to leave the country

6.

planes headed to provincial airports

f.

outside of Bangkok

7.

relieved to

g.

be going home

8.

severe disruption would continue for

h.

up to a week

9.

getting the airport up

i.

and running again

10.

We’ll take things

j.

step by step

GAP FILL:

Thai protesters continue airport sit-in

Protesters in Bangkok are continuing to occupy the city’s airports. The protests are led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), who wants the Thai prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat, to resign. Thousands of PAD followers have refused to obey police orders to end their sit-in of Bangkok’s airports. The government believes the army is helping the protesters, and so has to rely on the police to bring the crisis to an end. The PAD is very well-organized and seems prepared to stay for a long time. Its protests are causing a lot of damage to Thailand’s image and its $15-billion tourism industry. Estimates are that the country is losing over $80 million a day. Around 100,000 international tourists are waiting to leave the country.

The PAD did let 37 planes fly out of Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday to help stranded passengers get home. Many of the planes headed to provincial airports outside of Bangkok, where angry and tired travelers have been waiting for days. One passenger, Diane Miller from New Zealand, said she was relieved to be going home: “This has caused chaos to my life. I’m not even sure I’ll have a job to back to when I get home,” she said. Airport officials told news agencies that severe disruption would continue for up to a week after the protests ended. They said that getting the airport up and running again would be a major operational and logistical nightmare. “We’ll take things step by step, a day at a time,” said one official.

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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