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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Julian Assange - by Sean Banville

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WikiLeaks Founder Hiding From “Superpower” (4th December, 2010)


 

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in hiding. He told reporters he was taking steps to protect himself from a “superpower”. He made a statement to Britain’s Guardian newspaper from a secret location on December the 3rd, saying: "The threats against our lives are a matter of public record. However, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a superpower." He proclaimed that anyone threatening his life should be charged with incitement to murder. Professor Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suggested assassinating Mr Assange. Flanagan said Barack Obama should “put out a contract” to rid the world of Mr Assange.


Julian Assange is also wanted by Swedish authorities for alleged sex crimes. Earlier this year two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual misconduct. Swedish prosecutors opened, dropped, then re-opened the investigation into the allegations. They have not formally charged him with any crime. Assange’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said “someone is pushing Sweden to push Interpol to make this arrest warrant public". Ex-Pentagon official KT McFarland called for Assange to face terror charges. She told Fox News: "He’s waging cyber-war on the United States and the global world order. Mr Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such."


WARM-UPS

1. WIKILEAKS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about WikiLeaks. 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.

 

WikiLeaks / superpower / secret locations / precautions / incitement / assassinating / sex crimes / investigation / lawyer / arrest warrant / waging cyber-war / hackers

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

3. IN HIDING: Problems hiding from a superpower? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Problems

How to overcome it

Dangers

Using the Internet

 

 

Food

 

 

Money

 

 

Trusting people

 

 

A place to hide

 

 

An escape plan

 

 

4. LEAKS: Students A strongly believe Julian Assange was right to leak the documents; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. JULIAN ASSANGE: What is he? Rank these words and share your rankings with your partner. Put the ones you most agree with at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • journalist
  • hero
  • terrorist
  • traitor
  • brave
  • stupid
  • honest
  • criminal

6. SUPERPOWER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘superpower’. 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 article says Mr Assange is hiding from Russia, China and the USA.

T / F

b.

Mr Assange listed the precautions he has made to stay safe.

T / F

c.

He suggested anyone who threatened to kill him should be arrested.

T / F

d.

An ex-aide to Canada’s PM told President Obama to kill Mr Assange.

T / F

e.

Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning about sex crimes.

T / F

f.

Swedish authorities have not officially said Assange committed a crime.

T / F

g.

Assange’s lawyer is pushing for an Interpol arrest warrant to be made.

T / F

h.

An ex-Pentagon worker wants Assange prosecuted as a computer spy.

T / F

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

1.

founder

a.

wrongdoing

2

steps

b.

safeguards

3.

appropriate

c.

pressuring

4.

precautions

d.

originator

5.

assassinating

e.

taken to court

6.

alleged

f.

actions

7.

misconduct

g.

murdering

8.

pushing

h.

carrying on

9.

waging

i.

suitable

10.

prosecuted

j.

claimed

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

1.

taking steps

a.

a contract

2

a matter of public

b.

warrant

3.

we are taking the appropriate

c.

record

4.

charged with incitement

d.

by Swedish authorities

5.

put out

e.

war on the United States

6.

Assange is also wanted

f.

to protect himself

7.

re-opened the

g.

to murder

8.

They have not formally

h.

precautions

9.

arrest

i.

charged him

10.

waging cyber-

j.

investigation

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in ____________. He told reporters he was taking ____________ to protect himself from a “superpower”. He made a statement to Britain’s Guardian newspaper from a secret ____________ on December the 3rd, saying: "The threats against our lives are a matter of public record. However, we are ____________ the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when ____________ with a superpower." He proclaimed that anyone threatening his life should be charged with incitement to murder. Professor Tom Flanagan, a ____________ adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ____________ assassinating Mr Assange. Flanagan said Barack Obama should “put out a contract” to ____________ the world of Mr Assange.

 

 

 

former
location
rid
hiding
dealing
suggested
steps
taking

Julian Assange is also ____________ by Swedish authorities for alleged sex crimes. Earlier this year two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual ____________. Swedish prosecutors opened, ____________, then re-opened the investigation into the allegations. They have not ____________ charged him with any crime. Assange’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said “someone is pushing Sweden to ____________ Interpol to make this arrest warrant public". Ex-Pentagon official KT McFarland called for Assange to face terror charges. She told Fox News: "He’s ____________ cyber-war on the United States and the global world order. Mr Assange and his ____________ hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as ____________."

 

 

waging
dropped
push
wanted
such
misconduct
fellow
formally

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in hiding. He told reporters he was ___________________ himself from a “superpower”. He made a statement to Britain’s Guardian newspaper from a secret location on December the 3rd, saying: "The ___________________ lives are a matter of public record. However, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we _____________________ with a superpower." He proclaimed that anyone _____________________ be charged with incitement to murder. Professor Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, _____________________ Mr Assange. Flanagan said Barack Obama should “_____________________” to rid the world of Mr Assange.

Julian Assange is also wanted by Swedish _____________________ sex crimes. Earlier this year two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual misconduct. Swedish _______________________, then re-opened the investigation into the allegations. They have not formally _____________________ crime. Assange’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said “someone is pushing Sweden _____________________ make this arrest warrant public". Ex-Pentagon official KT McFarland called for Assange to face terror charges. She told Fox News: "_____________________ on the United States and the global world order. Mr Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should _____________________."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

secret

location

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • steps
  • secret
  • matter
  • dealing
  • charged
  • rid
  • crimes
  • dropped
  • formally
  • pushing
  • face
  • such

STUDENT WIKILEAKS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about WikiLeaks 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.

WIKILEAKS / JULIAN ASSANGE 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 ‘WikiLeaks’?

c)

How do you think Julian Assange is feeling right now?

d)

What do you think of Julian Assange?

e)

Do you think WikiLeaks has changed the world in any way?

f)

What do you think it’d be like to have to hide from a superpower?

g)

What do you think of Professor Tom Flanagan’s suggestion to assassinate Mr Assange?

h)

Which of the leaks has most surprised or worried you?

i)

Will WikiLeaks change the way diplomats communicate from now?

j)

Has Julian Assange made the world a better or more dangerous place?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What three adjectives would you use to describe Julian Assange and why?

c)

Should Assange go back to Sweden?

d)

What do you think would happen to him if he went to the USA?

e)

Have any of the leaks caused any great problems between countries?

f)

Is Mr Assange waging cyber-war on America, as KT McFarland said?

g)

Is Mr Assange a terrorist, as KT McFarland called him?

h)

Where do you think Julian Assange will be this time next year?

i)

What have the leaks said about your country’s leaders or policies?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Julian Assange?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is (1) ____ hiding. He told reporters he was taking steps to protect himself from a “superpower”. He made a statement to Britain’s Guardian newspaper from a secret location on December the 3rd, saying: "The threats against our lives are a (2) ____ of public record. However, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the (3) ____ that we are able when (4) ____ with a superpower." He proclaimed that anyone threatening his life should be charged (5) ____ incitement to murder. Professor Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suggested assassinating Mr Assange. Flanagan said Barack Obama should “put out a contract” to (6) ____ the world of Mr Assange.

Julian Assange is also wanted by Swedish authorities (7) ____ alleged sex crimes. Earlier this year two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual misconduct. Swedish prosecutors opened, (8) ____, then re-opened the investigation into the allegations. They have not (9) ____ charged him with any crime. Assange’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said “someone is pushing Sweden to push Interpol to make this arrest (10) ____ public". Ex-Pentagon official KT McFarland called for Assange to face terror charges. She told Fox News: "He’s (11) ____ cyber-war on the United States and the global world order. Mr Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as (12) ____."

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

1.

(a)

on

(b)

at

(c)

by

(d)

in

2.

(a)

mattered

(b)

matters

(c)

matter

(d)

matter-of-fact

3.

(a)

diploma

(b)

degree

(c)

award

(d)

certificate

4.

(a)

dealing

(b)

deals

(c)

dealt

(d)

dealer

5.

(a)

at

(b)

on

(c)

with

(d)

to

6.

(a)

lid

(b)

bid

(c)

hid

(d)

rid

7.

(a)

by

(b)

for

(c)

from

(d)

with

8.

(a)

dropped

(b)

fell

(c)

let go

(d)

threw down

9.

(a)

formality

(b)

formally

(c)

formal

(d)

formalize

10.

(a)

warren

(b)

warrior

(c)

warrant

(d)

warring

11.

(a)

waging

(b)

paging

(c)

caging

(d)

raging

12.

(a)

so

(b)

some

(c)

seem

(d)

such

WRITING

Write about WikiLeaks 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 Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. WIKILEAKS: Make a poster about WikiLeaks. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. IN HIDING: Write a magazine article about Julian Assange. Include imaginary interviews with him and someone who thinks he should be prosecuted.

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 Julian Assange. Ask him three questions about WikiLeaks. 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.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

founder

a.

originator

2

steps

b.

actions

3.

appropriate

c.

suitable

4.

precautions

d.

safeguards

5.

assassinating

e.

murdering

6.

alleged

f.

claimed

7.

misconduct

g.

wrongdoing

8.

pushing

h.

pressuring

9.

waging

i.

carrying on

10.

prosecuted

j.

taken to court

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

taking steps

a.

to protect himself

2

a matter of public

b.

record

3.

we are taking the appropriate

c.

precautions

4.

charged with incitement

d.

to murder

5.

put out

e.

a contract

6.

Assange is also wanted

f.

by Swedish authorities

7.

re-opened the

g.

investigation

8.

They have not formally

h.

charged him

9.

arrest

i.

warrant

10.

waging cyber-

j.

war on the United States

GAP FILL:

WikiLeaks founder hiding from “superpower”

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in hiding. He told reporters he was taking steps to protect himself from a “superpower”. He made a statement to Britain’s Guardian newspaper from a secret location on December the 3rd, saying: "The threats against our lives are a matter of public record. However, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a superpower." He proclaimed that anyone threatening his life should be charged with incitement to murder. Professor Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, suggested assassinating Mr Assange. Flanagan said Barack Obama should “put out a contract” to rid the world of Mr Assange.

Julian Assange is also wanted by Swedish authorities for alleged sex crimes. Earlier this year two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers accused Assange of sexual misconduct. Swedish prosecutors opened, dropped, then re-opened the investigation into the allegations. They have not formally charged him with any crime. Assange’s lawyer Bjorn Hurtig said “someone is pushing Sweden to push Interpol to make this arrest warrant public". Ex-Pentagon official KT McFarland called for Assange to face terror charges. She told Fox News: "He’s waging cyber-war on the United States and the global world order. Mr Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such."

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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