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Date: January 25, 2009
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THE ARTICLE

China closes 1250 sites for healthier Web

The Chinese government has shut down around 1,250 Internet sites that contain pornographic material. It is the latest effort by China to crack down on immoral content. In addition to the crackdown, authorities have arrested 41 people involved in putting pornography online. The deputy director of China’s Internet Affairs Bureau, Liu Zhengrong, said the focus of the government’s actions is to create a safer environment for children who use the Internet. Liu told reporters: "The campaign is aimed at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer and more reliable." Liu outlined the difficulties ahead, saying: "Our biggest challenge is that the Internet is still growing…. We are facing a long-term, complex and huge task."


 
 

In China it is illegal to distribute pornographic material. The Xinhua news agency reports that in the past three weeks the government has received more than 18,000 complaints about inappropriate content. Officials have also warned China’s most popular sites, including Google and Baidu, to do more to block pornographic material from their searches in China. The task of censoring sites in China seems to be an uphill battle. China has the largest online community in the world. There are almost 300 million users in China and this number is growing rapidly, at the rate of a quarter of a million a day. There are also 20,000 new sites uploaded to the Web every week. Many people fear the crackdown might also aim to censor news sites such as the BBC and Voice of America.


 


 

WARM-UPS

1. WEBSITES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about websites. 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.

 

pornography / crackdowns / authorities / safer environments / difficulties / huge tasks / news agencies / complaints / censoring / uphill battles / online communities

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

3. INTERNET CONTROL: What do we need to do to keep the Internet safe? Complete the table below with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote.

 

Dangers

How to keep them safe

Pornography

 

 

Kids’ sites

 

 

Online banking

 

 

Online shopping

 

 

Facebook

 

 

Other ___________

 

 

4. PORNOGRAPHY: Students A strongly believe there is no problem with putting pornography on the Internet; Students B strongly believe online pornography should not be put on the Internet. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. WEB CHALLENGES: Rank these things with your partner(s) in order of the biggest web challenge. Change partners and talk about your rankings.

_____ protecting personal information

_____ keeping kids from pornography

_____ Internet speed

_____ keeping spam away

_____ being online anywhere

_____ credit card security

_____ stopping online censorship

_____ staying safe on Facebook

6. THE WEB: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the Web. 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.

China has closed some sites about unhealthy eating and lifestyles.

T / F

b.

The government has arrested 41 people.

T / F

c.

The government wants a healthier online environment for kids.

T / F

d.

An official said the speed of the Internet’s growth is a problem.

T / F

e.

The article said over 80,000 people complained to China’s government.

T / F

f.

China has the world’s largest number of Internet users.

T / F

g.

There are 250,000 new Chinese users going online every day.

T / F

h.

The article said China is going to crack down on the BBC and VOA.

T / F

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

1.

shut down

a.

quickly

2

effort

b.

tough

3.

immoral

c.

circulate

4.

aimed

d.

attempt

5.

complex

e.

cautioned

6.

distribute

f.

closed

7.

warned

g.

clean up

8.

inappropriate

h.

designed

9.

rapidly

i.

unsuitable

10.

censor

j.

wrong

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

1.

sites that contain pornographic

a.

huge task

2

crack down

b.

children

3.

create a safer environment for

c.

than 18,000 complaints

4.

making the Internet in China safer

d.

material

5.

a long-term, complex and

e.

of a million a day

6.

the government has received more

f.

to censor news sites

7.

an uphill

g.

on immoral content

8.

the largest online

h.

battle

9.

at the rate of a quarter

i.

and more reliable

10.

the crackdown might also aim

j.

community


WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The Chinese government has __________ down around 1,250 Internet sites that contain pornographic material. It is the latest effort by China to __________ down on immoral content. In addition to the crackdown, authorities have arrested 41 people __________ in putting pornography online. The deputy director of China’s Internet Affairs Bureau, Liu Zhengrong, said the __________ of the government’s actions is to create a safer environment for children who use the Internet. Liu told reporters: "The campaign is __________ at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer and more __________." Liu outlined the difficulties ahead, saying: "Our biggest challenge is that the Internet is still __________ …. We are facing a long-term, complex and huge __________."

 

aimed
task
crack
growing
focus
shut
involved
reliable

In China it is illegal to __________ pornographic material. The Xinhua news agency reports that in the __________ three weeks the government has received more than 18,000 complaints about inappropriate __________. Officials have also warned China’s most popular sites, including Google and Baidu, to do more to __________ pornographic material from their searches in China. The task of censoring sites in China seems to be an uphill __________. China has the largest online community in the world. There are almost 300 million users in China and this number is growing __________, at the rate of a quarter of a million a day. There are also 20,000 new sites uploaded to the Web every week. Many people __________ the crackdown might also aim to censor __________ sites such as the BBC and Voice of America.

 

content
fear
distribute
battle
past
news
block
rapidly

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

The Chinese government ____________________ 1,250 Internet sites that contain pornographic material. It is ____________________ China to crack down on immoral content. In addition to the crackdown, authorities have arrested 41 people ____________________ pornography online. The deputy director of China’s Internet Affairs Bureau, Liu Zhengrong, said the focus of the government’s actions ____________________ environment for children who use the Internet. Liu told reporters: "The campaign is aimed at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer ____________________." Liu outlined the difficulties ahead, saying: "Our biggest challenge is that the Internet is still growing…. We are ____________________, complex and huge task."

In China it is illegal to distribute pornographic material. The Xinhua news agency reports ____________________ three weeks the government has received more than 18,000 complaints about inappropriate content. Officials ____________________ China’s most popular sites, including Google and Baidu, to do more to block pornographic material ____________________ in China. The task of censoring sites in China seems ____________________ battle. China has the largest online community in the world. There are almost 300 million users in China and this number is growing rapidly, ____________________ quarter of a million a day. There are also 20,000 new sites uploaded to the Web every week. Many people fear the crackdown ____________________ censor news sites such as the BBC and Voice of America.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

crack

down

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • shut
  • effort
  • 41
  • focus
  • aimed
  • huge
  • illegal
  • 18,000
  • block
  • 300 million
  • 250,000
  • censor

STUDENT WEBSITE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about websites 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.

HEALTHIER WEB 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 ‘crackdown’?

c)

Do you think China is right to close down the sites?

d)

What do you think about pornography online?

e)

What should governments do to protect children from online dangers?

f)

Do you think there can be a healthy Web?

g)

What do you think are the biggest challenges for the Internet?

h)

What punishment should people get for putting pornographic material online?

i)

What are the biggest Internet dangers to children?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What are the laws concerning pornography in your country?

c)

Do you think pornographic sites should be banned?

d)

Whose job is it to stop immoral content appearing online?

e)

Would you worry about your child using the Internet?

f)

What uphill battle have you had recently?

g)

What is healthy about the Internet?

h)

Do you think it’s OK for China to censor the BBC?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Liu Zhengrong?

LANGUAGE

The Chinese government has shut (1) ____ around 1,250 Internet sites that contain pornographic material. It is the latest (2) ____ by China to crack down on immoral content. In addition to the crackdown, authorities have arrested 41 people involved (3) ____ putting pornography online. The deputy director of China’s Internet Affairs Bureau, Liu Zhengrong, said the (4) ____ of the government’s actions is to create a safer environment for children who use the Internet. Liu told reporters: "The campaign is aimed at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer and more (5) ____." Liu outlined the difficulties ahead, saying: "Our biggest challenge is that the Internet is still growing…. We are (6) ____ a long-term, complex and huge task."

In China it is illegal (7) ____ distribute pornographic material. The Xinhua news agency reports that in the past three weeks the government has received more than 18,000 (8) ____ about inappropriate content. Officials have also warned China’s most popular sites, including Google and Baidu, to do more to (9) ____ pornographic material from their searches in China. The task of censoring sites in China seems to be an (10) ____ battle. China has the largest online community in the world. There are almost 300 million users in China and this number is growing (11) ____, at the rate of a quarter of a million a day. There are also 20,000 new sites uploaded to the Web every week. Many people (12) ____ the crackdown might also aim to censor news sites such as the BBC and Voice of America.

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

1.

(a)

low

(b)

below

(c)

under

(d)

down

2.

(a)

effortless

(b)

effortlessly

(c)

effort

(d)

effortful

3.

(a)

to

(b)

in

(c)

at

(d)

on

4.

(a)

focus

(b)

zoom

(c)

sharp

(d)

clear

5.

(a)

relies

(b)

rely on

(c)

reliable

(d)

relying

6.

(a)

faces

(b)

faced

(c)

face

(d)

facing

7.

(a)

at

(b)

to

(c)

from

(d)

with

8.

(a)

complaints

(b)

complain

(c)

complaining

(d)

complains

9.

(a)

book

(b)

block

(c)

black

(d)

back

10.

(a)

upper

(b)

upside

(c)

uphill

(d)

upped

11.

(a)

rapidly

(b)

rapids

(c)

rapidity

(d)

rapid

12.

(a)

fearsome

(b)

frightened

(c)

afraid

(d)

fear

WRITING: 

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

3. IMMORAL CONTENT: Make a poster about what content should not be allowed online. Explain why. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CHALLENGES: Write a magazine article about the future problems the Internet might bring.

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. NO PROBLEM: Write an imaginary conversation between someone who believes all pornography should be banned and someone who believes it is OK.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s). Role play your conversation in front of the class.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to Liu Zhengrong. Ask him three questions about China’s decision to crack down on sites. Give him three suggestions on what he should do to make the web healthier. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

shut down

a.

closed

2

effort

b.

attempt

3.

immoral

c.

wrong

4.

aimed

d.

designed

5.

complex

e.

tough

6.

distribute

f.

circulate

7.

warned

g.

cautioned

8.

inappropriate

h.

unsuitable

9.

rapidly

i.

quickly

10.

censor

j.

clean up

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

sites that contain pornographic

a.

material

2

crack down

b.

on immoral content

3.

create a safer environment for

c.

children

4.

making the Internet in China safer

d.

and more reliable

5.

a long-term, complex and

e.

huge task

6.

the government has received more

f.

than 18,000 complaints

7.

an uphill

g.

battle

8.

the largest online

h.

community

9.

at the rate of a quarter

i.

of a million a day

10.

the crackdown might also aim

j.

to censor news sites

GAP FILL:

China closes 1250 sites for healthier Web

The Chinese government has shut down around 1,250 Internet sites that contain pornographic material. It is the latest effort by China to crack down on immoral content. In addition to the crackdown, authorities have arrested 41 people involved in putting pornography online. The deputy director of China’s Internet Affairs Bureau, Liu Zhengrong, said the focus of the government’s actions is to create a safer environment for children who use the Internet. Liu told reporters: "The campaign is aimed at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer and more reliable." Liu outlined the difficulties ahead, saying: "Our biggest challenge is that the Internet is still growing…. We are facing a long-term, complex and huge task."

In China it is illegal to distribute pornographic material. The Xinhua news agency reports that in the past three weeks the government has received more than 18,000 complaints about inappropriate content. Officials have also warned China’s most popular sites, including Google and Baidu, to do more to block pornographic material from their searches in China. The task of censoring sites in China seems to be an uphill battle. China has the largest online community in the world. There are almost 300 million users in China and this number is growing rapidly, at the rate of a quarter of a million a day. There are also 20,000 new sites uploaded to the Web every week. Many people fear the crackdown might also aim to censor news sites such as the BBC and Voice of America.

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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