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Europe's Population Now Half a Billion (28th July, 2010)


 

Europe's population has passed the half-a-billion mark for the first time ever. Europe’s statistics database agency Eurostat put the official figure at 501.1 million people across the 27-nation European Union. This was a rise of 1.4 million people between January 1 2009 and January 1 2010. The bulk of the increase was due to immigration, with 900,000 immigrants moving to EU countries. Eurostat said that the five countries with the biggest increases in population were Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus and Sweden. Germany’s population fell by 203,000. Over five million children were born in 2009 across the EU. The highest birth rates were in Ireland, Britain and France, and the lowest were in Germany and Austria. Europe is still far behind China, which has a population of 1.4 billion.

Increases in population are leading many European governments to worry about how to cope with the increasing numbers. More people put a great strain on a country’s resources. It can also lead to environmental damage and competition for jobs, houses and public services. The United Nations Population Fund says population growth will also cause tension due to reduced living space and increased demand for food and water, fuel and transport. Many countries in Europe are experiencing anger from people who are opposed to immigration. Sir Andrew Green of the UK’s Migration Watch think tank said: “There are always arguments in favour of immigration…but the majority of people are clear that immigration needs to be brought down.”


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. POPULATION: Walk around the class and talk to other students about population. 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.

 

population / database / statistics / database / immigration / birth rates / far behind / worry / how to cope / strain on resources / public services / tension / arguments

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. STRAINS: What pressures are there on these resources? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.


Resource

Strains

How to cope?

Water

 

 

Transport

 

 

Jobs

 

 

Housing

 

 

Food

 

 

Public services

 

 

4. OVERPOPULATION: Students A strongly believe that overpopulation will not be a problem in the future; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
5. IMMIGRATION: What does it add to a country? Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = Adds loads; 1 = Has a negative impact. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • Cultural diversity
  • Increased workforce
  • New skills
  • Global understanding
  • New languages
  • Food and culture
  • Cosmopolitan feel
  • Sense of wanting to help new arrivals

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

The population of Europe has decreased considerably since 2000.

T / F

b.

There was a rise of 1.4 million people in Europe’s population in 2009.

T / F

c.

Most of the rise in population was due to increasing birth rates.

T / F

d.

Birth rates were higher in Ireland than in Germany in 2009.

T / F

e.

European governments aren’t too concerned about immigration.

T / F

f.

The U.N. said immigration will cause many tensions.

T / F

g.

A lot of Europeans are angry about immigration.

T / F

h.

A British man believes we need to think more about tanks.

T / F

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


1.

passed

a.

for

2.

figure

b.

dropped

3.

bulk

c.

manage

4.

fell

d.

majority

5.

far

e.

fury

6.

cope

f.

a long way

7.

strain

g.

gone over

8.

anger

h.

obvious

9.

in favour of

i.

pressure

10.

clear

j.

number

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


1.

passed the half-a-billion mark

a.

rates were in Ireland

2.

The bulk

b.

increases in population

3.

countries with the biggest

c.

be brought down

4.

The highest birth

d.

to cope

5.

Europe is still far

e.

of the increase

6.

worry about how

f.

reduced living space

7.

put a great strain

g.

for the first time

8.

cause tension due to

h.

to immigration

9.

people who are opposed

i.

behind China

10.

immigration needs to

j.

on a country’s resources


WHILE READING / LISTENING


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


Europe's population has ____________ the half-a-billion mark for the first time ever. Europe’s ____________ database agency Eurostat put the official figure at 501.1 million people across the 27-nation European Union. This was a ____________ of 1.4 million people between January 1 2009 and January 1 2010. The bulk of the increase was due to immigration, with 900,000 immigrants ____________ to EU countries. Eurostat said that the five countries with the biggest ____________ in population were Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus and Sweden. Germany’s population ____________ by 203,000. Over five million children were born in 2009 across the EU. The ____________ birth rates were in Ireland, Britain and France, and the lowest were in Germany and Austria. Europe is still ____________ behind China, which has a population of 1.4 billion.

 

 

fell
moving
statistics
far
passed
highest
rise
increases

Increases in population are ____________ many European governments to worry about how to ____________ with the increasing numbers. More people put a great strain on a country’s resources. It can also ____________ to environmental damage and competition for jobs, houses and public services. The United Nations Population Fund says population growth will also cause tension ____________ to reduced living space and increased ____________ for food and water, fuel and transport. Many countries in Europe are experiencing anger from people who are ____________ to immigration. Sir Andrew Green of the UK’s Migration Watch think tank said: “There are always arguments in ____________ of immigration…but the majority of people are clear that immigration needs to be ____________ down.”

 

 

favour
lead
leading
brought
opposed
due
cope
demand

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps


Europe's population has passed the half-a-billion _____________________ ever. Europe’s statistics database agency Eurostat _____________________ 501.1 million people across the 27-nation European Union. This was a rise of 1.4 million people between January 1 2009 and January 1 2010. The _____________________ due to immigration, with 900,000 immigrants moving to EU countries. Eurostat said that the five countries _______________________ in population were Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus and Sweden. Germany’s population fell by 203,000. Over five million children were born in 2009 across the EU. The _____________________ in Ireland, Britain and France, and the lowest were in Germany and Austria. Europe _____________________ China, which has a population of 1.4 billion.
Increases in population are leading many European governments to worry _____________________ with the increasing numbers. More people put a great strain on a country’s resources. _____________________ environmental damage and competition for jobs, houses and public services. The United Nations Population Fund says population _____________________ tension due to reduced living space and increased demand for food and water, fuel and transport. Many countries in Europe are experiencing anger from people _____________________ immigration. Sir Andrew Green of the UK’s Migration Watch think tank said: “There are _____________________ favour of immigration…but the majority of people are clear that immigration _____________________ down.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING


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


official

figure
 
 
 

  • 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:

  • passed
  • 27
  • 1.4
  • five
  • fell
  • far
  • how
  • lead
  • due
  • anger
  • tank
  • clear

STUDENT POPULATION SURVEY


Write five GOOD questions about population 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.

POPULATION 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 ‘immigration’?

c)

What do you think of Europe’s population rising to half a billion?

d)

What problems does overpopulation bring?

e)

What changes have there been to the population in your country?

f)

Is immigration a good or a bad thing?

g)

Would you like to move to another country?

h)

What problems do migrants have?

i)

Is it better to have a cosmopolitan population?

j)

Should all EU countries have an equal share of immigration rises?


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


a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why are European governments worrying?

c)

How do governments cope with increasing numbers?

d)

What kind of environmental damage does immigration cause?

e)

Do you think levels of migration will reach boiling point one day?

f)

What problems will immigration cause in the future?

g)

Are you in favour of immigration?

h)

Do former colonial countries have an obligation to allow people from former colonies to move to their country?

i)

What are the arguments in favour of immigration?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a migrant moving to Europe?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE


Europe's population has passed the half-a-billion (1) ____ for the first time ever. Europe’s statistics database agency Eurostat put the official figure at 501.1 million people (2) ____ the 27-nation European Union. This was a rise of 1.4 million people between January 1 2009 and January 1 2010. The bulk (3) ____ the increase was due (4) ____ immigration, with 900,000 immigrants moving to EU countries. Eurostat said that the five countries with the biggest increases in population were Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus and Sweden. Germany’s population (5) ____ by 203,000. Over five million children were born in 2009 across the EU. The highest birth rates were in Ireland, Britain and France, and the lowest were in Germany and Austria. Europe is still (6) ____ behind China, which has a population of 1.4 billion.
Increases in population are (7) ____ many European governments to worry about how to cope with the increasing numbers. More people put a great (8) ____ on a country’s resources. It can also lead to environmental damage and competition for jobs, houses and public services. The United Nations Population Fund says population growth will also cause (9) ____ due to reduced living space and increased demand for food and water, fuel and transport. Many countries in Europe are experiencing (10) ____ from people who are opposed (11) ____ immigration. Sir Andrew Green of the UK’s Migration Watch think tank said: “There are always arguments in favour of immigration…but the majority of people are clear that immigration needs to be (12) ____ down.”
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.


1.

(a)

meek

(b)

make

(c)

maker

(d)

mark

2.

(a)

beyond

(b)

across

(c)

over

(d)

round

3.

(a)

of

(b)

from

(c)

to

(d)

at

4.

(a)

by

(b)

of

(c)

to

(d)

as

5.

(a)

drop

(b)

off

(c)

fell

(d)

down

6.

(a)

for

(b)

far

(c)

fir

(d)

fur

7.

(a)

leading

(b)

loading

(c)

leasing

(d)

leafing

8.

(a)

grain

(b)

brain

(c)

train

(d)

strain

9.

(a)

tense

(b)

tension

(c)

tensed

(d)

tenses

10.

(a)

mad

(b)

upset

(c)

furious

(d)

anger

11.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

of

12.

(a)

brought

(b)

bought

(c)

bringing

(d)

brings

WRITING


Write about population 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 population. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. POPULATION: Make a poster about population and immigration. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
4. BENEFITS: Write a magazine article about the benefits of immigration Include imaginary interviews with successful immigrants.
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 Sir Andrew Green. Ask him three questions about immigration. Give him three of your opinions about it. 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.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:


1.

passed

a.

gone over

2.

figure

b.

number

3.

bulk

c.

majority

4.

fell

d.

dropped

5.

far

e.

a long way

6.

cope

f.

manage

7.

strain

g.

pressure

8.

anger

h.

fury

9.

in favour of

i.

for

10.

clear

j.

obvious

PHRASE MATCH:


1.

passed the half-a-billion mark

a.

for the first time

2.

The bulk

b.

of the increase

3.

countries with the biggest

c.

increases in population

4.

The highest birth

d.

rates were in Ireland

5.

Europe is still far

e.

behind China

6.

worry about how

f.

to cope

7.

put a great strain

g.

on a country’s resources

8.

cause tension due to

h.

reduced living space

9.

people who are opposed

i.

to immigration

10.

immigration needs to

j.

be brought down

GAP FILL:

Europe’s population now half a billion

Europe's population has passed the half-a-billion mark for the first time ever. Europe’s statistics database agency Eurostat put the official figure at 501.1 million people across the 27-nation European Union. This was a rise of 1.4 million people between January 1 2009 and January 1 2010. The bulk of the increase was due to immigration, with 900,000 immigrants moving to EU countries. Eurostat said that the five countries with the biggest increases in population were Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus and Sweden. Germany’s population fell by 203,000. Over five million children were born in 2009 across the EU. The highest birth rates were in Ireland, Britain and France, and the lowest were in Germany and Austria. Europe is still far behind China, which has a population of 1.4 billion.
Increases in population are leading many European governments to worry about how to cope with the increasing numbers. More people put a great strain on a country’s resources. It can also lead to environmental damage and competition for jobs, houses and public services. The United Nations Population Fund says population growth will also cause tension due to reduced living space and increased demand for food and water, fuel and transport. Many countries in Europe are experiencing anger from people who are opposed to immigration. Sir Andrew Green of the UK’s Migration Watch think tank said: “There are always arguments in favour of immigration…but the majority of people are clear that immigration needs to be brought down.”
LANGUAGE WORK


1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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