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My 1,000
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Date: February 3, 2009
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES
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THE ARTICLE

Gaddafi suggests a United States of Africa

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the new chairman of the 53-nation African Union. An AU spokeswoman told reporters that Colonel Gaddafi was elected "by the heads of state in a closed-door session, for a one-year period". Gaddafi, 66, becomes the first North African leader to hold the top post at the AU since it started in 2002. The new AU chief made his acceptance speech in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He stopped before the end of the speech saying he was too tired to continue. He told his audience that actions were more important than words: “I think the near future will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not a time of words,” he said. Gaddafi is the world’s longest-serving political leader.


 
 

One of Gaddafi’s biggest plans is for a United States of Africa. He has spent his political life campaigning for greater African unity. His vision is to join the continent’s 53 nations into a political federation. This would mean a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent. Outgoing AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, agreed that the “ultimate” aim was for a United States of Africa. However, he warned that there were many “building blocks” to reach that goal. Gaddafi believes unity is the only way to help Africa escape from poverty, disease and conflict. South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, regards the idea as impractical.


 


 

WARM-UPS

1. AFRICA: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Africa. 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.

 

chairman / spokeswoman / heads of state / speeches / being too tired / near future / plans / political life / vision / continent / the ultimate aim / building blocks / poverty

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

3. UNITED STATES: What would the world be like if there were only several giant countries? Complete the table below. Change partners and share what you wrote.

The United States of …

Main countries

Strengths

Problems

Africa

 

 

 

Europe

 

 

 

East Asia

 

 

 

Arabia

 

 

 

South America

 

 

 

South Asia

 

 

 

4. ONE WORLD: Students A strongly believe the world will be just one country one day and that’ll be great; Students B strongly believe the world will always have many countries and that’s great. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. CONTINENTS: What are the differences and similarities between Africa and other continents and land masses? Discuss this with your partner(s). Change partners and talk about your conversations.

  • Africa and Europe
  • Africa and North America
  • Africa and East Asia
  • Africa and South America
  • Africa and Antarctica
  • Africa and South Asia
  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Africa and Australia

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

Libya’s leader has said some African countries should join the U.S.A.

T / F

b.

Libya’s leader was chosen as Africa’s leader behind closed doors.

T / F

c.

Colonel Gaddafi was too tired to finish his acceptance speech.

T / F

d.

Colonel Gaddafi is the longest serving political leader in the world.

T / F

e.

Gaddafi’s only plan as leader is for a United States of Africa.

T / F

f.

A united Africa would mean having just one African currency.

T / F

g.

Tanzania’s leader totally disagrees with the Colonel Gaddafi’s idea.

T / F

h.

South Africa is fully behind Gaddafi’s idea of a United States of Africa.

T / F

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

1.

leader

a.

have

2

session

b.

union

3.

hold

c.

pushing

4.

speech

d.

war

5.

serious

e.

head

6.

campaigning

f.

top

7.

federation

g.

unrealistic

8.

ultimate

h.

meeting

9.

conflict

i.

important

10.

impractical

j.

talk

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

1.

chairman of the 53-

a.

speech

2

elected by the heads

b.

poverty

3.

The new AU chief made his acceptance

c.

political leader

4.

the near

d.

to reach that goal

5.

the world’s longest-serving

e.

nation African Union

6.

campaigning for

f.

to move freely

7.

a single passport for Africans

g.

of state

8.

there were many “building blocks”

h.

powerhouse

9.

escape from

i.

future

10.

the continent’s economic

j.

greater African unity

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the new chairman of the 53-__________ African Union. An AU spokeswoman told reporters that Colonel Gaddafi was elected "by the -__________ of state in a closed-door session, for a one-year period". Gaddafi, 66, becomes the first North African leader to -__________ the top post at the AU since it started in 2002. The new AU chief made his acceptance -__________ in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He stopped before the -__________ of the speech saying he was too -__________ to continue. He told his audience that actions were more important than words: “I think the near -__________ will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not a time of words,” he said. Gaddafi is the world’s longest--__________ political leader.

 

 

 

end
hold
future
nation
serving
tired
heads
speech

One of Gaddafi’s biggest -__________ is for a United States of Africa. He has spent his political life campaigning for -__________ African unity. His vision is to join the continent’s 53 nations into a political federation. This would -__________ a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move -__________ around the continent. Outgoing AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, -__________ that the “ultimate” aim was for a United States of Africa. However, he warned that there were many “building blocks” to -__________ that goal. Gaddafi believes unity is the only way to help Africa -__________ from poverty, disease and conflict. South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, -__________ the idea as impractical.

 

 

greater
regards
agreed
plans
mean
escape
freely
reach

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the new chairman __________________ African Union. An AU spokeswoman told reporters that Colonel Gaddafi was elected "by __________________ in a closed-door session, for a one-year period". Gaddafi, 66, becomes the first North African leader __________________ at the AU since it started in 2002. The new AU chief made his acceptance speech in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He stopped before the end of the speech saying __________________ to continue. He told his audience that actions were more important than words: “I think __________________ be a time of serious work and a time of action and not a time of words,” he said. Gaddafi is the world’s longest-__________________.

One of Gaddafi’s __________________ a United States of Africa. He has spent his political life campaigning for greater African unity. His vision is to __________________ 53 nations into a political federation. This would mean a single African military force, __________________ and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent. Outgoing AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, agreed that the “ultimate” __________________ United States of Africa. However, he warned that there were many “building blocks” to reach that goal. Gaddafi believes unity is the only way to help Africa __________________, disease and conflict. South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, __________________ impractical.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

united

state

 

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • 53
  • closed
  • 2002
  • tired
  • near
  • longest
  • spent
  • join
  • mean
  • aim
  • blocks
  • idea

STUDENT AFRICA SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Africa 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.

AFRICA 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 ‘Africa’?

c)

What do you know about the African Union?

d)

Do you think Colonel Gaddafi will be a good leader for Africa?

e)

What are the biggest things Colonel Gaddafi needs to do for Africa?

f)

What do you think of Gaddafi being too tired to finish his acceptance speech?

g)

When was the last time you were too tired to finish something?

h)

When was the last time you made a speech?

i)

Do you think actions are more important than words?

j)

What do you think the near future will hold?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think of the idea of a United States of Africa?

c)

Do you think African’s would like to belong to a wider union?

d)

What are the biggest challenges facing Africa?

e)

What are the building blocks towards a greater African union?

f)

Do you think there are other ways for Africa to escape disease and poverty?

g)

What do you think the world would be like if there were just a few giant countries?

h)

What is your ultimate aim?

i)

Why do you think South Africa views African union as impractical?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Colonel Gaddafi?

LANGUAGE

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the new chairman of the 53-(1) ____ African Union. An AU spokeswoman told reporters that Colonel Gaddafi was elected "by the (2) ____ of state in a closed-door session, for a one-year period". Gaddafi, 66, becomes the first North African leader to (3) ____ the top post at the AU since it started in 2002. The new AU chief made his acceptance (4) ____ in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He stopped before the end of the speech saying he was too tired to continue. He told his audience that actions were more important than words: “I think the (5) ____ future will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not a time of words,” he said. Gaddafi is the world’s (6) ____ -serving political leader.

One of Gaddafi’s biggest (7) ____ is for a United States of Africa. He has spent his political life campaigning for greater African unity. His vision is to join the continent’s 53 nations into a (8) ____ federation. This would mean a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move (9) ____ around the continent. Outgoing AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, (10) ____ that the “ultimate” aim was for a United States of Africa. However, he warned that there were many “building blocks” to reach that goal. Gaddafi (11) ____ unity is the only way to help Africa escape from poverty, disease and conflict. South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, (12) ____ the idea as impractical.

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

1.

(a)

nation

(b)

national

(c)

nationality

(d)

nations

2.

(a)

feet

(b)

arms

(c)

heads

(d)

backs

3.

(a)

holds

(b)

held

(c)

holding

(d)

hold

4.

(a)

speaker

(b)

speech

(c)

speaks

(d)

speaking

5.

(a)

nearly

(b)

nears

(c)

near to

(d)

near

6.

(a)

longing

(b)

long

(c)

longest

(d)

longtime

7.

(a)

planning

(b)

plans

(c)

plan

(d)

planned

8.

(a)

political

(b)

politics

(c)

politician

(d)

politically

9.

(a)

freely

(b)

freedom

(c)

frees

(d)

free time

10.

(a)

agreement

(b)

agree

(c)

agreed

(d)

agreeing

11.

(a)

believing

(b)

believers

(c)

beliefs

(d)

believes

12.

(a)

records

(b)

regards

(c)

receives

(d)

regrades

WRITING: 

Write about Africa 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 Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. UNITED STATES OF AFRICA: Make a poster about a possible United States of Africa. Design a flag, currency and capital. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. AFRICA: Write a magazine article about Africa. Write about the continent’s strengths and weaknesses.

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. UNION: Write an imaginary conversation between someone who is for African union and someone who is against it.

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 Colonel Gaddafi. Ask him three questions about the United States of Africa. Give him three suggestions on what he should do to make Africa stronger and more united. 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.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

leader

a.

head

2

session

b.

meeting

3.

hold

c.

have

4.

speech

d.

talk

5.

serious

e.

important

6.

campaigning

f.

pushing

7.

federation

g.

union

8.

ultimate

h.

top

9.

conflict

i.

war

10.

impractical

j.

unrealistic

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

chairman of the 53-

a.

nation African Union

2

elected by the heads

b.

of state

3.

The new AU chief made his acceptance

c.

speech

4.

the near

d.

future

5.

the world’s longest-serving

e.

political leader

6.

campaigning for

f.

greater African unity

7.

a single passport for Africans

g.

to move freely

8.

there were many “building blocks”

h.

to reach that goal

9.

escape from

i.

poverty

10.

the continent’s economic

j.

powerhouse

GAP FILL:

Gaddafi suggests a United States of Africa

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the new chairman of the 53-nation African Union. An AU spokeswoman told reporters that Colonel Gaddafi was elected "by the heads of state in a closed-door session, for a one-year period". Gaddafi, 66, becomes the first North African leader to hold the top post at the AU since it started in 2002. The new AU chief made his acceptance speech in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. He stopped before the end of the speech saying he was too tired to continue. He told his audience that actions were more important than words: “I think the near future will be a time of serious work and a time of action and not a time of words,” he said. Gaddafi is the world’s longest-serving political leader.

One of Gaddafi’s biggest plans is for a United States of Africa. He has spent his political life campaigning for greater African unity. His vision is to join the continent’s 53 nations into a political federation. This would mean a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent. Outgoing AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania, agreed that the “ultimate” aim was for a United States of Africa. However, he warned that there were many “building blocks” to reach that goal. Gaddafi believes unity is the only way to help Africa escape from poverty, disease and conflict. South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, regards the idea as impractical.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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