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UK Axes Quarter of Student Visas (23rd March, 2011)


 

The British government has announced an overhaul in its system of issuing student visas. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the rules for student visas into Britain need to be much tougher. This means a reduction of 25 per cent in the number of visas given to overseas students. Ms. May said new rules are being introduced to stop people trying to gain entry into the country for dishonest reasons. She said student visas were being abused and "too many were here to work and not to study". She told the British government that the misuse of student visas was a "symbol of a broken and abused immigration system,” and that tightening the rules would be "in the best interests of legitimate students.”

Many in politics, education and business have condemned the new law. Opposition Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it would damage Britain’s economy. She pointed out that the teaching English industry was worth $9 billion a year. Ms. Cooper warned the government was trying to keep political promises about cutting immigration numbers, rather than to improve the visa system. In a fiery exchange, she said that Ms. May should act "in the interests of a sensible, controlled migration policy, rather than taking risks with an important export industry". University spokeswoman Sally Hunt said: "The government's student visa plans are short-sighted and risk sending out the worrying message that the UK is closed for business."


WARM-UPS

1. IMMIGRATION: Walk around the class and talk to other students about immigration. 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.

 

overhaul / student visas / tougher / overseas students / dishonest reasons / abused / politics / opposition / political promises / immigration / fiery / short-sighted / risk

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

3. VISA: What should foreigners require to get a visa for your country? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Requirements

Why?

Tourist

 

 

Student/Study

 

 

Permanent residence

 

 

Investment

 

 

Working holiday

 

 

On-arrival

 

 

4. TOUGH: Students A strongly believe countries should be tougher on immigration; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. REQUIREMENTS: What are the most important requirements to give foreigners student visas in the U.K.? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most important at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • English level
  • Age
  • Number of dependents
  • Money
  • Previous qualifications
  • Nationality
  • No criminal record
  • Health record

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

Britain is refusing to let a quarter of its students study overseas.

T / F

b.

A British politician wants to stop people getting visas dishonestly.

T / F

c.

The politician said many people got student visas to work, not study.

T / F

d.

The politician said new rules would help proper students.

T / F

e.

The opposition politician agreed with the new rules.

T / F

f.

The English industry is worth nine billion British pounds in the U.K.

T / F

g.

The politician and her opposite number had heated words.

T / F

h.

Another woman said British politicians couldn’t see very well.

T / F

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

1.

announced

a.

indicated

2

overhaul

b.

stricter

3.

tougher

c.

giving

4.

abused

d.

attacked

5.

legitimate

e.

heated

6.

condemned

f.

update

7.

pointed out

g.

argument

8.

fiery

h.

misused

9.

exchange

i.

declared

10.

sending out

j.

legal

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

1.

its system of issuing

a.

into the country

2

need to be much

b.

risks

3.

trying to gain entry

c.

of legitimate students

4.

a broken and abused

d.

short-sighted

5.

in the best interests

e.

promises

6.

Yvette Cooper said it would damage

f.

student visas

7.

trying to keep political

g.

for business

8.

taking

h.

tougher

9.

visa plans are

i.

Britain’s economy

10.

the UK is closed

j.

immigration system

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The British government has announced an (1) ____________ in its system of (2) ____________ student visas. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the (3) ____________ for student visas into Britain need to be much tougher. This means a reduction of 25 per cent in the number of visas given to (4) ____________ students. Ms. May said new rules are being introduced to stop people trying to (5) ____________ entry into the country for dishonest reasons. She said student visas were being abused and "too many were here to work and not to study". She told the British government that the misuse of student visas was a (6) "____________ of a broken and abused immigration system,” and that (7) ____________ the rules would be "in the best (8) ____________ of legitimate students.”

 

 

 

symbol
rules
gain
interests
overhaul
tightening
issuing
overseas

Many in politics, education and business have (9) ____________ the new law. Opposition Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it would (10) ____________ Britain’s economy. She pointed out that the teaching English industry was worth $9 billion a year. Ms. Cooper (11) ____________ the government was trying to keep political promises about (12) ____________ immigration numbers, rather than to improve the visa system. In a fiery exchange, she said that Ms. May should act "in the interests of a (13) ____________, controlled migration policy, rather than taking risks with an important (14) ____________ industry". University spokeswoman Sally Hunt said: "The government's student visa plans are short-(15) ____________ and risk sending out the worrying message that the UK is (16) ____________ for business."

 

 

sighted
warned
sensible
closed
condemned
damage
export
cutting

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The British government has announced an overhaul _________________ issuing student visas. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the rules for student visas into Britain need _________________. This means a reduction of 25 per cent in the number of visas given to overseas students. Ms. May said new rules are being introduced to stop people trying _________________ the country for dishonest reasons. She said student visas were being abused and "too many were _________________ not to study". She told the British government that the misuse of student visas was a "_________________ and abused immigration system,” and that tightening the rules would be "in ___________________ legitimate students.”

Many in politics, education and business ____________________ new law. Opposition Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it would damage Britain’s economy. She ____________________ the teaching English industry was worth $9 billion a year. Ms. Cooper warned the government was trying to ____________________ about cutting immigration numbers, rather than to improve the visa system. In a fiery exchange, she said that Ms. May should act "in the ____________________, controlled migration policy, rather than taking risks with an important export industry". University spokeswoman Sally Hunt said: "The government's student ____________________-sighted and risk sending ______________________ that the UK is closed for business."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

student

visa

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • announced
  • rules
  • number
  • gain
  • symbol
  • best
  • opposition
  • damage
  • warned
  • exchange
  • sensible
  • closed

STUDENT IMMIGRATION SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about immigration 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.

IMMIGRATION 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 ‘visa’?

c)

What do you think of the visa system?

d)

Have you ever had a difficult time getting a visa?

e)

What do you think of Britain cutting back on student visas?

f)

Do you think visa rules need to be tougher?

g)

What should governments do if people try to get visas dishonestly?

h)

Would you like to study in Britain or another country?

i)

Are you concerned about immigration in your country?

j)

How would you feel if you were refused a visa?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why do you think some British politicians are against the new student visa restrictions?

c)

Do you think keeping of political promises could be at play here?

d)

Should your country increase or decrease immigration?

e)

What are the benefits of immigration?

f)

Where in the world would you like to study?

g)

What is a “a sensible, controlled migration policy”?

h)

When was the last time you had a ‘fiery exchange’?

i)

Do you think the UK government is really sending out the message that it is “closed for business”?

j)

What questions would you like to ask U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The British government has announced an (1) ____ in its system of issuing student visas. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the rules for student visas into Britain need to be much (2) ____. This means a reduction of 25 per cent in the number of visas given to overseas students. Ms. May said new rules are being introduced to stop people trying to (3) ____ entry into the country for (4) ____ reasons. She said student visas were (5) ____ abused and "too many were here to work and not to study". She told the British government that the misuse of student visas was a "symbol of a broken and abused immigration system,” and that tightening the rules would be "in the (6) ____ interests of legitimate students.”

Many in politics, education and business have (7) ____ the new law. Opposition Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it would damage Britain’s economy. She pointed (8) ____ that the teaching English industry was worth $9 billion a year. Ms. Cooper warned the government was trying to (9) ____ political promises about cutting immigration numbers, rather than to improve the visa system. In a (10) ____ exchange, she said that Ms. May should act "in the interests of a sensible, controlled migration policy, rather than (11) ____ risks with an important export industry". University spokeswoman Sally Hunt said: "The government's student visa plans are short-(12) ____ and risk sending out the worrying message that the UK is closed for business."

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

1.

(a)

short haul

(b)

haulage

(c)

long haul

(d)

overhaul

2.

(a)

tougher

(b)

toughen

(c)

toughening

(d)

toughs

3.

(a)

main

(b)

pain

(c)

gain

(d)

vain

4.

(a)

dishonesty

(b)

dishonest

(c)

honesty

(d)

honest

5.

(a)

doing

(b)

being

(c)

done

(d)

been

6.

(a)

good

(b)

bright

(c)

best

(d)

light

7.

(a)

condemned

(b)

commanded

(c)

commandeered

(d)

commending

8.

(a)

in

(b)

up

(c)

down

(d)

out

9.

(a)

sweep

(b)

heap

(c)

weep

(d)

keep

10.

(a)

fire

(b)

fiery

(c)

afire

(d)

fires

11.

(a)

taking

(b)

faking

(c)

making

(d)

baking

12.

(a)

seeing

(b)

vision

(c)

sighted

(d)

visionary


 
 

WRITING

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

3. IMMIGRATION: Make a poster about immigration – the pros and cons. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. NO ENTRY: Write a magazine article about a student who cannot enter Britain to study under new immigration laws. Include imaginary interviews with him/her and Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May.

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 Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May. Ask her three questions about immigration. Give her three reasons why she should relax the policy. 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.

F

e.

F

f.

F

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

announced

a.

declared

2

overhaul

b.

update

3.

tougher

c.

stricter

4.

abused

d.

misused

5.

legitimate

e.

legal

6.

condemned

f.

attacked

7.

pointed out

g.

indicated

8.

fiery

h.

heated

9.

exchange

i.

argument

10.

sending out

j.

giving

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

its system of issuing

a.

student visas

2

need to be much

b.

tougher

3.

trying to gain entry

c.

into the country

4.

a broken and abused

d.

immigration system

5.

in the best interests

e.

of legitimate students

6.

Yvette Cooper said it would damage

f.

Britain’s economy

7.

trying to keep political

g.

promises

8.

taking

h.

risks

9.

visa plans are

i.

short-sighted

10.

the UK is closed

j.

for business

GAP FILL:

UK axes quarter of student visas

The British government has announced an (1) overhaul in its system of (2) issuing student visas. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said the (3) rules for student visas into Britain need to be much tougher. This means a reduction of 25 per cent in the number of visas given to (4) overseas students. Ms. May said new rules are being introduced to stop people trying to (5) gain entry into the country for dishonest reasons. She said student visas were being abused and "too many were here to work and not to study". She told the British government that the misuse of student visas was a (6) "symbol of a broken and abused immigration system,” and that (7) tightening the rules would be "in the best (8) interests of legitimate students.”

Many in politics, education and business have (9) condemned the new law. Opposition Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it would (10) damage Britain’s economy. She pointed out that the teaching English industry was worth $9 billion a year. Ms. Cooper (11) warned the government was trying to keep political promises about (12) cutting immigration numbers, rather than to improve the visa system. In a fiery exchange, she said that Ms. May should act "in the interests of a (13) sensible, controlled migration policy, rather than taking risks with an important (14) export industry". University spokeswoman Sally Hunt said: "The government's student visa plans are short-(15) sighted and risk sending out the worrying message that the UK is (16) closed for business."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - b

6 - c

7 - a

8 - d

9 -d

10 - b

11 - a

12 - c

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