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May 16, 2009

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A Million Flee Pakistan-Taliban Fighting

A new humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have fled their homes to escape fighting between the Pakistan Army and Taliban forces. There are estimates that nearly one-and-a-half million people in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan are displaced. The United Nations say 900,000 civilians moved to avoid the violence in the past month. Huge numbers of internal refugees were on the move on Thursday as the army eased a curfew. Hundreds of cars and overloaded buses formed a huge convoy. They were all heading for refugee camps in the south. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said the growing refugee crisis is his nation’s worst since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.


Fighting between the Pakistan military and Taliban rebels has got worse in recent days. Army commanders are increasing their efforts to root out the militants. Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported heavy fighting in the north-west of the country as the military went on the offensive. Army Major General Athar Abbas said his troops killed at least 55 Taliban fighters in recent attacks. More than 15,000 Pakistan troops have moved into the Swat Valley to take on around 5,000 heavily-armed militants. A Taliban spokesman denied the casualty figures. Muslim Khan said his fighters have killed over 37 Pakistani soldiers in fighting since Wednesday. He said Pakistani troops killed just three Taliban soldiers.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. PAKISTAN: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Pakistan. Change partners often. Sit with your first 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.

 

humanitarian crisis / fleeing / estimates / avoiding violence / convoys / refugees / fighting / Taliban rebels / army commanders / heavily-armed / casualty figures

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

3. HUMANITARIAN CRISIS: With your partner(s), talk about the best way to give Pakistani refugees help in the ongoing crisis. Change partners and share your ideas.

Problem

Your solution

Is it happening now?

Security

 

 

Food

 

 

Shelter

 

 

Hope

 

 

Health care

 

 

Child care

 

 

4. PAKISTAN: Students A strongly believe Pakistan will defeat the Taliban and other militant groups; Students B strongly believe Pakistan will never defeat the Taliban.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FLEEING: What would you take if you had to flee from your home? Rank theses in order of which you would take first. Talk about your rating with your partner(s). Vote as a class on which things are most / least important.

_____  your computer

_____  your passport

_____  your pet

_____  your photos

_____  your English coursebook

_____  your clothes

_____  your music

_____  your Swiss Army knife

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

Millions of civilians have fled their homes to escape fighting in Pakistan.

T / F

b.

The article says 1.5 million people in the Swat Valley are displeased.

T / F

c.

The Pakistan Army has refused to lift a curfew to allow people to flee.

T / F

d.

The recent refugee crisis is Pakistan’s worst in many decades.

T / F

e.

It seems the fighting is calming down a little.

T / F

f.

A Pakistan newspaper reported the army is on the attack.

T / F

g.

There are 10,000 more new Pakistani troops than Taliban fighters.

T / F

h.

A Taliban spokesman said Pakistani army casualties were greater.

T / F

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

1.

unfolding

a.

homeless

2

fled

b.

soldiers

3.

estimates

c.

find

4.

displaced

d.

escaped from

5.

partition

e.

only

6.

root out

f.

dead and injured

7.

offensive

g.

developing

8.

troops

h.

attack

9.

casualty

i.

guesses

10.

just

j.

division

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

1.

A new humanitarian crisis is

a.

a huge convoy

2

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have

b.

casualty figures

3.

900,000 civilians moved to avoid the

c.

on the offensive

4.

cars and overloaded buses formed

d.

unfolding in Pakistan

5.

the partition of India and

e.

out the militants

6.

Fighting between the Pakistan military

f.

fled their homes

7.

increasing their efforts to root

g.

three Taliban soldiers

8.

the military went

h.

Pakistan in 1947

9.

A Taliban spokesman denied the

i.

violence

10.

Pakistani troops killed just

j.

and Taliban rebels

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A new humanitarian crisis is __________ in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have fled their homes to __________ fighting between the Pakistan Army and Taliban forces. There are __________ that nearly one-and-a-half million people in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan are __________. The United Nations say 900,000 civilians moved to __________ the violence in the past month. Huge numbers of internal refugees were on the __________ on Thursday as the army eased a curfew. Hundreds of cars and overloaded buses formed a huge __________. They were all heading for refugee camps in the south. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said the __________ refugee crisis is his nation’s worst since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

 

 

 

estimates
convoy
unfolding
avoid
growing
move
escape
displaced

Fighting between the Pakistan military and Taliban __________ has got worse in recent days. Army commanders are increasing their efforts to __________ out the militants. Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported heavy fighting in the north-west of the country as the military __________ on the offensive. Army Major General Athar Abbas said his troops killed at least 55 Taliban fighters in __________ attacks. More than 15,000 Pakistan troops have __________ into the Swat Valley to take on around 5,000 __________ -armed militants. A Taliban spokesman denied the casualty __________. Muslim Khan said his fighters have killed over 37 Pakistani soldiers in fighting since Wednesday. He said Pakistani troops killed __________ three Taliban soldiers.

 

 

heavily
went
rebels
just
figures
root
recent
moved

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

A new humanitarian crisis _____________ Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis _____________ homes to escape fighting between the Pakistan Army and Taliban forces. There are estimates that nearly one-and-a-half million people in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan are displaced. The United Nations say 900,000 civilians _____________ the violence in the past month. Huge numbers of internal refugees were on the move on Thursday as the army _____________. Hundreds of cars and overloaded buses formed a huge convoy. They were _____________ refugee camps in the south. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said the growing refugee crisis is ________________ since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Fighting between the Pakistan military and Taliban rebels ______________ recent days. Army commanders are increasing their efforts to _____________ militants. Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported heavy fighting in the north-west of the country _____________ went on the offensive. Army Major General Athar Abbas said his troops killed at least 55 Taliban fighters in recent attacks. More than 15,000 Pakistan troops have _________________ Swat Valley to take on around 5,000 heavily-armed militants. A Taliban spokesman denied the _____________. Muslim Khan said his fighters have killed over 37 Pakistani soldiers in fighting since Wednesday. He said Pakistani _________________ three Taliban soldiers.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

million

flee

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • unfolding
  • estimates
  • avoid
  • ended
  • huge
  • worst
  • recent
  • efforts
  • heavy
  • troops
  • figures
  • three

STUDENT TALIBAN SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about the Taliban 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.

TALIBAN 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 ‘Taliban’?

c)

What do you know about the Taliban?

d)

Do you think the Pakistani army can beat the Taliban?

e)

What do the Taliban want?

f)

What should the world do to help the Pakistani refugees?

g)

How would you feel about fleeing your home?

h)

How would you feel about being in the middle of two fighting armies?

i)

Do you think there’ll always be refugee camps? How can we prevent the need for them?

j)

What other humanitarian crises do you know of in the world today?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think would happen in the world if the Taliban beat the Pakistan Army?

c)

Would you worry about the Taliban being in control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons?

d)

Do you think American troops should go into Pakistan to fight the Taliban?

e)

Why do you think it’s so difficult to beat the Taliban?

f)

Have militants ever fought in your country (or a country near yours)?

g)

How could the world make the Taliban stop fighting and talk peace?

h)

Why do people join the Taliban?

i)

What three adjectives would you use to describe the Taliban (and why)?

j)

What questions would you ask Taliban leaders?

LANGUAGE

A new humanitarian (1) ____ is unfolding in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have fled their homes to escape fighting between the Pakistan Army and Taliban forces. There are (2) ____ that nearly one-and-a-half million people in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan are displaced. The United Nations say 900,000 civilians moved to (3) ____ the violence in the past month. Huge numbers of internal refugees were on the (4) ____ on Thursday as the army eased a curfew. Hundreds of cars and overloaded buses formed a huge convoy. They were all heading (5) ____ refugee camps in the south. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said the growing refugee crisis is his (6) ____  worst since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Fighting between the Pakistan military and Taliban rebels has got worse (7) ____ recent days. Army commanders are increasing their efforts to (8) ____ out the militants. Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported heavy fighting in the north-west of the country (9) ____ the military went on the offensive. Army Major General Athar Abbas said his troops killed at (10) ____ 55 Taliban fighters in recent attacks. More than 15,000 Pakistan troops have moved into the Swat Valley to take on around 5,000 heavily-armed militants. A Taliban spokesman (11) ____ the casualty figures. Muslim Khan said his fighters have killed over 37 Pakistani soldiers in fighting (12) ____ Wednesday. He said Pakistani troops killed just three Taliban soldiers.

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

1.

(a)

crises

(b)

crisscross

(c)

cross

(d)

crisis

2.

(a)

estimate

(b)

estimates

(c)

estimation

(d)

estimated

3.

(a)

avoid

(b)

avoiding

(c)

avoidance

(d)

avoids

4.

(a)

moving

(b)

mover

(c)

move

(d)

moves

5.

(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

for

(d)

at

6.

(a)

nations

(b)

nation’s

(c)

national’s

(d)

nations’

7.

(a)

in

(b)

an

(c)

of

(d)

on

8.

(a)

twig

(b)

leaf

(c)

branch

(d)

root

9.

(a)

was

(b)

as

(c)

has

(d)

as soon as

10.

(a)

lost

(b)

lastly

(c)

last

(d)

least

11.

(a)

denial

(b)

deny

(c)

denied

(d)

denies

12.

(a)

since

(b)

by

(c)

for

(d)

from

WRITING: 

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

3. HUMANITARIAN CRISES: Make a poster about different humanitarian crises in the world today. Include their history and solutions on how to end each crisis. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. PAKISTAN FIGHTING: Write a magazine article about the fighting between Pakistan and the Taliban. Include imaginary interviews with a Pakistani soldier and a Taliban militant.

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 Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani. Ask him three questions about the Taliban. Give him three ideas on how he could win his war. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

unfolding

a.

developing

2

fled

b.

escaped from

3.

estimates

c.

guesses

4.

displaced

d.

homeless

5.

partition

e.

division

6.

root out

f.

find

7.

offensive

g.

attack

8.

troops

h.

soldiers

9.

casualty

i.

dead and injured

10.

just

j.

only

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A new humanitarian crisis is

a.

unfolding in Pakistan

2

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have

b.

fled their homes

3.

900,000 civilians moved to avoid the

c.

violence

4.

cars and overloaded buses formed

d.

a huge convoy

5.

the partition of India and

e.

Pakistan in 1947

6.

Fighting between the Pakistan military

f.

and Taliban rebels

7.

increasing their efforts to root

g.

out the militants

8.

the military went

h.

on the offensive

9.

A Taliban spokesman denied the

i.

casualty figures

10.

Pakistani troops killed just

j.

three Taliban soldiers

GAP FILL:

A million flee Pakistan-Taliban fighting

A new humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis have fled their homes to escape fighting between the Pakistan Army and Taliban forces. There are estimates that nearly one-and-a-half million people in the Swat Valley area of Pakistan are displaced. The United Nations say 900,000 civilians moved to avoid the violence in the past month. Huge numbers of internal refugees were on the move on Thursday as the army eased a curfew. Hundreds of cars and overloaded buses formed a huge convoy. They were all heading for refugee camps in the south. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani said the growing refugee crisis is his nation’s worst since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Fighting between the Pakistan military and Taliban rebels has got worse in recent days. Army commanders are increasing their efforts to root out the militants. Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported heavy fighting in the north-west of the country as the military went on the offensive. Army Major General Athar Abbas said his troops killed at least 55 Taliban fighters in recent attacks. More than 15,000 Pakistan troops have moved into the Swat Valley to take on around 5,000 heavily-armed militants. A Taliban spokesman denied the casualty figures. Muslim Khan said his fighters have killed over 37 Pakistani soldiers in fighting since Wednesday. He said Pakistani troops killed just three Taliban soldiers.

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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