The
1,000 IDEAS
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |   DONATE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
 

 

E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

Follow this site on Facebook.

 

000's more free lessons.

   

 


 
 

October 31st, 2009

PRINT:  13-Page Class Handout
LISTEN: MP3 (1:55 - 908KB)
PLAY:    Online Quiz

Follow this site and my other sites on Facebook.

McDonald's Pulls Out of Iceland

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland sold their last hamburgers on Saturday night as the fast food giant pulled out of the country. Rising food costs forced executives to pull the plug on operations in Iceland. Thousands of people lined up at the fast food giant’s three Icelandic restaurants. The world's biggest restaurant chain announced its outlets were packed in the last few days of business. Managers said they were selling 10,000 burgers a day. A customer called Siggi told the Reuters news agency: "It's my last chance for a while to have a real Big Mac. With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time soon." He added: "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and then adds to variety."


A combination of things led to MacDonald’s closing its doors in Iceland. The country was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis. Many of its banks collapsed, causing a lack of confidence and a sharp decrease in the value of Iceland’s currency. This greatly increased the cost of importing food from abroad. Another factor that caused McDonald’s to close was a global trading rule that it must buy ingredients from Germany. The ‘Iceland Review’ newspaper reported: "The low exchange rate in addition to high tariffs have doubled the company's expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables and other products and challenged its profitability.” The paper said a new burger restaurant would start using Icelandic produce.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. MCDONALD’S: Walk around the class and talk to other students about McDonald’s. 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.

 

Iceland / hamburgers / food costs / fast food / restaurant chains / economy / variety / combination / financial crisis / lack of confidence / ingredients / exchange rate / meat

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

3. CHAINS: What do you think of these places? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard. Change and share again.

 

Good things

Bad things

McDonald’s

 

 

KFC

 

 

Starbucks

 

 

Baskin Robins

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

Dunkin’ Donuts

 

 

4. BANNED: Students A strongly believe fast food should be banned because it’s bad for us; Students B strongly believe there’s nothing wrong with fast food.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FAST FOOD: Which country has the best fast food? Write the fast food in the spaces. Rate them and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = so delicious; 1 = don’t want to eat it. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • American  _____________
  • British  ______________
  • Indian  ______________
  • Mexican  ______________
  • Chinese  ______________
  • Arab  ______________
  • French  ______________
  • Italian  ______________

6. BURGER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘burger’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Iceland’s government asked McDonald’s to leave the country.

T / F

b.

The price of food in Iceland forced McDonald’s to quit the country.

T / F

c.

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland usually sell 10,000 burgers a day.

T / F

d.

A customer said he would leave Iceland soon to eat a Big Mac.

T / F

e.

Iceland suffered very badly in the global financial crisis.

T / F

f.

The value of Iceland’s currency increased a lot.

T / F

g.

McDonald’s in Iceland had to buy its food from Germany.

T / F

h.

A paper said there would be no more burger restaurants in Iceland.

T / F

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

1.

pulled out

a.

food

2

pull the plug

b.

crowded

3.

lined up

c.

especially

4.

packed

d.

quit

5.

any time soon

e.

fall

6.

combination

f.

in the near future

7.

particularly

g.

exited

8.

decrease

h.

taxes

9.

tariffs

i.

queued

10.

produce

j.

mix

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

the fast food giant pulled out

a.

last few days

2

pull the plug

b.

Icelandic produce

3.

its outlets were packed in the

c.

fan of McDonald's

4.

It's my last

d.

particularly hard

5.

I'm a big

e.

on operations

6.

A combination of things led

f.

importing food

7.

The country was hit

g.

of the country

8.

greatly increased the cost of

h.

exchange rate

9.

The low

i.

chance for a while

10.

a new burger restaurant would start using

j.

to MacDonald’s closing

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland sold their ____________ hamburgers on Saturday night as the fast-food giant ____________ out of the country. Rising food costs forced executives to ____________ the plug on operations in Iceland. Thousands of people lined up at the fast-food giant’s three Icelandic restaurants. The world's biggest restaurant ____________ announced its outlets were ____________ in the last few days of business. Managers said they were selling 10,000 burgers a day. A customer called Siggi told the Reuters news agency: "It's my last ____________ for a while to have a real Big Mac. With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time ____________." He added: "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and then adds to ____________."

 

 

 

packed
pull
soon
last
variety
chain
pulled
chance

A combination of ____________ led to MacDonald’s closing its doors in Iceland. The country was hit particularly ____________ by the global financial crisis. Many of its banks collapsed, causing a lack of confidence and a ____________ decrease in the value of Iceland’s currency. This greatly increased the cost of ____________ food from abroad. Another factor that caused McDonald’s to close was a global trading rule that it ____________ buy ingredients from Germany. The ‘Iceland Review’ newspaper reported: "The low exchange ____________ in addition to high tariffs have ____________ the company's expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables and other products and challenged its profitability.” The paper said a new burger restaurant would start using Icelandic ____________.

 

 

importing
produce
sharp
must
things
doubled
rate
hard

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland __________________ hamburgers on Saturday night as the fast-food giant __________________ country. Rising food costs forced executives to __________________ operations in Iceland. Thousands of people __________________ fast-food giant’s three Icelandic restaurants. The world's biggest restaurant chain announced its outlets were __________________ few days of business. Managers said they were selling 10,000 burgers a day. A customer called Siggi told the Reuters news agency: "It's my last chance __________________ have a real Big Mac. With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad __________________." He added: "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and __________________."

A combination of things led to MacDonald’s __________________ in Iceland. The country was hit particularly __________________ financial crisis. Many of its banks collapsed, causing a lack of confidence and a sharp decrease __________________ Iceland’s currency. This greatly increased the cost of importing food from abroad. Another __________________ McDonald’s to close was a global trading __________________ buy ingredients from Germany. The ‘Iceland Review’ newspaper reported: "The low exchange rate __________________ tariffs have doubled the company's expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables __________________ challenged its profitability.” The paper said a new burger restaurant would __________________ produce.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

fast

food

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • last
  • plug
  • packed
  • 10,000
  • chance
  • variety
  • things
  • lack
  • abroad
  • rule
  • doubled
  • start

STUDENT MCDONALD’S SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about McDonald’s 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.

MCDONALD’S 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 ‘fast food’?

c)

What do you think of McDonald’s pulling out of Iceland?

d)

What three adjectives would you use to describe McDonald’s?

e)

Why do you think McDonald’s is so successful?

f)

What’s your earliest memory of McDonald’s?

g)

What’s your favourite fast food restaurant chain?

h)

Who is the biggest fan of McDonald’s that you know?

i)

What do you know about the history of McDonald’s?

j)

Would you line up for one last Big Mac? What food would you line up for?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What happened for McDonald’s to close its doors?

c)

What happened after Iceland’s banks collapsed?

d)

How did the global financial crisis affect your country?

e)

How much and what kind of food does your country import?

f)

Do you think it’s fair that McDonald’s in Iceland had to buy its ingredients from Germany?

g)

How successful do you think McDonald’s will be 50 years from now?

h)

How often do you go to fast food restaurants?

i)

What would life be like without McDonald’s?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the boss of McDonald’s?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland sold their (1) ____ hamburgers on Saturday night as the fast-food giant pulled out of the country. Rising food costs forced executives to (2) ____ the plug on operations in Iceland. Thousands of people lined (3) ____ at the fast-food giant’s three Icelandic restaurants. The world's biggest restaurant chain announced its outlets were (4) ____ in the last few days of business. Managers said they were selling 10,000 burgers a day. A customer called Siggi told the Reuters news agency: "It's my last chance for a (5) ____ to have a real Big Mac. With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time soon." He added: "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac (6) ____ and then adds to variety."

A combination of (7) ____ led to MacDonald’s closing its doors in Iceland. The country was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis. Many of its banks collapsed, causing a (8) ____ of confidence and a sharp decrease in the value of Iceland’s currency. This greatly increased the cost of importing food from abroad. Another (9) ____ that caused McDonald’s to close was a global trading rule that it must buy ingredients from Germany. The ‘Iceland Review’ newspaper reported: "The low exchange rate in addition (10) ____ high tariffs have doubled the company's expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables and other products and (11) ____ its profitability.” The paper said a new burger restaurant would start using Icelandic (12) ____.

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

1.

(a)

last

(b)

past

(c)

fast

(d)

vast

2.

(a)

tug

(b)

pull

(c)

nudge

(d)

push

3.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

up

(d)

down

4.

(a)

packing

(b)

pack

(c)

packs

(d)

packed

5.

(a)

whiling

(b)

whilst

(c)

whirl

(d)

while

6.

(a)

new

(b)

know

(c)

now

(d)

newly

7.

(a)

things

(b)

thing

(c)

thingy

(d)

thingamajig

8.

(a)

slack

(b)

lack

(c)

lacked

(d)

flack

9.

(a)

factored

(b)

factory

(c)

factor

(d)

factors

10.

(a)

to

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

by

11.

(a)

challenge

(b)

challenging

(c)

challenger

(d)

challenged

12.

(a)

producing

(b)

produce

(c)

producer

(d)

product

WRITING

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

3. FAST FOOD CHAINS: Make a poster about fast food. Compare different international chains. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MCDONALD’S: Write a magazine article about McDonald’s. Include imaginary interviews with a health expert and the McDonald’s CEO.

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 boss of McDonald’s. Ask him/her three questions about the company. Give him/her three ideas on how they can make the company better. 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.

F

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

pulled out

a.

exited

2

pull the plug

b.

quit

3.

lined up

c.

queued

4.

packed

d.

crowded

5.

any time soon

e.

in the near future

6.

combination

f.

mix

7.

particularly

g.

especially

8.

decrease

h.

fall

9.

tariffs

i.

taxes

10.

produce

j.

food

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the fast food giant pulled out

a.

of the country

2

pull the plug

b.

on operations

3.

its outlets were packed in the

c.

last few days

4.

It's my last

d.

chance for a while

5.

I'm a big

e.

fan of McDonald's

6.

A combination of things led

f.

to MacDonald’s closing

7.

The country was hit

g.

particularly hard

8.

greatly increased the cost of

h.

importing food

9.

The low

i.

exchange rate

10.

a new burger restaurant would start using

j.

Icelandic produce

GAP FILL:

McDonald’s pulls out of Iceland

McDonald’s restaurants in Iceland sold their last hamburgers on Saturday night as the fast-food giant pulled out of the country. Rising food costs forced executives to pull the plug on operations in Iceland. Thousands of people lined up at the fast-food giant’s three Icelandic restaurants. The world's biggest restaurant chain announced its outlets were packed in the last few days of business. Managers said they were selling 10,000 burgers a day. A customer called Siggi told the Reuters news agency: "It's my last chance for a while to have a real Big Mac. With the economy as it is, I won't be traveling abroad any time soon." He added: "It's not that I'm a big fan of McDonald's, but a Big Mac now and then adds to variety."

A combination of things led to MacDonald’s closing its doors in Iceland. The country was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis. Many of its banks collapsed, causing a lack of confidence and a sharp decrease in the value of Iceland’s currency. This greatly increased the cost of importing food from abroad. Another factor that caused McDonald’s to close was a global trading rule that it must buy ingredients from Germany. The ‘Iceland Review’ newspaper reported: "The low exchange rate in addition to high tariffs have doubled the company's expenses for meat, cheese, vegetables and other products and challenged its profitability.” The paper said a new burger restaurant would start using Icelandic produce.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

Help Support This Web Site

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You

Copyright © 2004-2009 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy