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Sarkozy Tells Obama - Netanyahu Is a 'Liar' (9th November, 2011)


 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a diplomatic gaffe at the G20 summit in Cannes last week by telling U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar". The two presidents were having a private conversation and both believed the nearby recording machines of journalists were switched off. Sarkozy said to Obama: "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," to which Obama replied: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you." Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel’s army radio station that: "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, certainly in such competitive professions."


The White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to comment on the conversation when questioned by reporters. It is believed Obama and Sarkozy were talking about Palestine’s bid for full membership of UNESCO at the time, and that the U.S. leader was expressing his regret that his French counterpart had backed the Palestinians' bid. Presidential gaffes such as Sarkozy and Obama's are not uncommon. Perhaps the most famous one was made by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He was unaware a tape was left running after a sound check and made a joke about the Soviet Union, saying: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."


WARM-UPS

1. LIES AND LIARS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about lies and liars. 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.

 

Nicolas Sarkozy / gaffe / Barack Obama / Benjamin Netanyahu / conversation / fed up / refused to comment / UNESCO / counterpart / uncommon / made a joke / outlaw

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

3. LIARS: Whose lies (would) shock you most? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Person

Shock value (x/10)

Why?

Your country’s leader

 

 

Your best friend

 

 

A company CEO

 

 

A parent

 

 

A religious leader

 

 

You

 

 

4. LIES: Students A strongly believe no one will ever lie in the future; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. LYING: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the things it’s OK to lie about at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • exam grades
  • age
  • salary
  • last night’s whereabouts (to partner)
  • marital status
  • job
  • liking your friends
  • weight

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

Sarkozy saying Netanyahu was a liar was no mistake.

T / F

b.

The two presidents were speaking to the world’s press at the time.

T / F

c.

Obama suggested he was equally fed up with Benjamin Netanyahu.

T / F

d.

Israel’s vice premier brushed off the comments as unimportant.

T / F

e.

The White House has made a full apology over the incident.

T / F

f.

The two presidents were discussing nuclear weapons at the time.

T / F

g.

Obama didn’t want Sarkozy to back Palestine’s bid to join UNESCO.

T / F

h.

Ex-president Ronald Reagan made a gaffe about bombing the USSR.

T / F

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

1.

gaffe

a.

tired

2

bear

b.

opposite number

3.

fed up

c.

declined

4.

competitive

d.

tolerate

5.

professions

e.

faux pas

6.

refused

f.

attempt

7.

bid

g.

rare

8.

counterpart

h.

occupations

9.

uncommon

i.

laws

10.

legislation

j.

ambitious

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

1.

Sarkozy made a diplomatic

a.

more often

2

having a private

b.

was left running

3.

You're fed

c.

membership of UNESCO

4.

I have to deal with him even

d.

professions

5.

in such competitive

e.

on the conversation

6.

refused to comment

f.

conversation

7.

Palestine’s bid for full

g.

legislation

8.

his French

h.

gaffe

9.

He was unaware a tape

i.

counterpart

10.

I've signed

j.

up with him

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a diplomatic (1) ____________ at the G20 (2) ____________ in Cannes last week by telling U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar". The two presidents were having a (3) ____________ conversation and both believed the (4) ____________ recording machines of journalists were switched off. Sarkozy said to Obama: "I cannot (5) ____________ Netanyahu, he's a liar," to which Obama replied: "You're (6) ____________ up with him, but I have to (7) ____________ with him even more often than you." Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel’s army radio station that: "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, (8) ____________ in such competitive professions."

 

 

 

fed
summit
nearby
certainly
gaffe
bear
deal
private

The White House press secretary Jay Carney (9) ____________ to comment on the conversation when questioned by reporters. It is believed Obama and Sarkozy were talking about Palestine’s (10) ____________ for full membership of UNESCO at the time, and that the U.S. leader was expressing his (11) ____________ that his French counterpart had backed the Palestinians' bid. Presidential gaffes such as Sarkozy and Obama's are not         (12) ____________. Perhaps the most famous one was made by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He was (13) ____________ a tape was left (14) ____________ after a sound check and made a joke about the Soviet Union, saying: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've (15) ____________ legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin (16) ____________ in five minutes."

 

 

uncommon
refused
signed
bombing
bid
unaware
regret
running

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

French President Nicolas Sarkozy _______________________ at the G20 summit in Cannes last week by telling U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar". The two presidents were having a private conversation and _______________________ recording _______________________ were switched off. Sarkozy said to Obama: "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," to which Obama replied: "You're fed up with him, but I have _______________________ more often than you." Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel’s army radio station that: "Everyone _______________________. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, _______________________ professions."

The White House press secretary Jay Carney _______________________ the conversation when questioned by reporters. It is believed Obama and Sarkozy were talking about Palestine’s _______________________ of UNESCO at the time, and that the U.S. leader was _______________________ that his French counterpart had backed the Palestinians' bid. Presidential gaffes such as Sarkozy and Obama's are not uncommon. Perhaps the most famous one was made by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He _______________________ was left running after a _______________________ a joke about the Soviet Union, saying: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today _______________________ that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

lie

liar

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • summit
  • private
  • nearby
  • fed
  • deal
  • even
  • refused
  • bid
  • regret
  • former
  • running
  • begin

STUDENT LIES AND LIARS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about lies and liars 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.

LIES AND LIARS 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 ‘liar’?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

What do you think Mr Netanyahu will think of Presidents Obama and Sarkozy’s comments?

e)

Do you think the two presidents should make a public apology to Mr Netanyahu?

f)

Are the two presidents amateurs for speaking so closely to recording equipment?

g)

Why do you think Sarkozy called Netanyahu a “liar”?

h)

Why do you think Obama suggested he was “fed up” with Netanyahu?

i)

Is Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom right when he said: "Everyone talks about everyone”?

j)

What’s the biggest gaffe your country’s leader has made?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why do you think the White House is refusing to comment?

c)

What do you think of Palestine’s bid for UNESCO membership?

d)

What is UNESCO and what does it do?

e)

How embarrassing or damaging are Sarkozy and Obama’s comments?

f)

Should leaders have to attend “gaffe-avoidance” classes?

g)

What do you think of Ronald Reagan’s gaffe?

h)

What’s the biggest gaffe you’ve ever made?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Presidents Obama and Sarkozy?

j)

What do you think their answers would be?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a diplomatic (1) ____ at the G20 summit in Cannes last week by telling U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar". The two presidents were having a private conversation and both believed the (2) ____ recording machines of journalists were switched off. Sarkozy said to Obama: "I cannot (3) ____ Netanyahu, he's a liar," to which Obama replied: "You're (4) ____ up with him, but I have to deal (5) ____ him even more often than you." Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel’s army radio station that: "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, (6) ____ in such competitive professions."

The White House press secretary Jay Carney (7) ____ to comment on the conversation when questioned by reporters. It is believed Obama and Sarkozy were talking about Palestine’s (8) ____ for full membership of UNESCO at the time, and that the U.S. leader was expressing his (9) ____ that his French counterpart had backed the Palestinians' bid. Presidential gaffes such as Sarkozy and Obama's are not (10) ____. Perhaps the most famous one was made by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He was unaware a tape was (11) ____ running after a sound check and made a joke about the Soviet Union, saying: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've (12) ____ legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

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

1.

(a)

guffaw

(b)

giraffe

(c)

gif

(d)

gaffe

2.

(a)

nearly

(b)

nearing

(c)

nearby

(d)

neared

3.

(a)

wolf

(b)

bear

(c)

panda

(d)

monkey

4.

(a)

fed

(b)

wed

(c)

led

(d)

bed

5.

(a)

at

(b)

over

(c)

with

(d)

to

6.

(a)

certainty

(b)

certain

(c)

curtains

(d)

certainly

7.

(a)

rebuked

(b)

refused

(c)

rebuffed

(d)

reused

8.

(a)

bid

(b)

bed

(c)

bad

(d)

bud

9.

(a)

regress

(b)

regret

(c)

recess

(d)

regimen

10.

(a)

commonality

(b)

commoner

(c)

uncommon

(d)

commons

11.

(a)

left

(b)

wrong

(c)

right

(d)

forgot

12.

(a)

singled

(b)

singed

(c)

signal

(d)

signed

WRITING

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

3. LIES AND LIARS: Make a poster about lies and liars. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. GAFFE: Write a magazine article about the gaffe in the article. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

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 President Sarkozy or Obama. Ask one of them three questions about the gaffe. Give him three of your opinions on 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.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

gaffe

a.

faux pas

2

bear

b.

tolerate

3.

fed up

c.

tired

4.

competitive

d.

ambitious

5.

professions

e.

occupations

6.

refused

f.

declined

7.

bid

g.

attempt

8.

counterpart

h.

opposite number

9.

uncommon

i.

rare

10.

legislation

j.

laws

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Sarkozy made a diplomatic

a.

gaffe

2

having a private

b.

conversation

3.

You're fed

c.

up with him

4.

I have to deal with him even

d.

more often

5.

in such competitive

e.

professions

6.

refused to comment

f.

on the conversation

7.

Palestine’s bid for full

g.

membership of UNESCO

8.

his French

h.

counterpart

9.

He was unaware a tape

i.

was left running

10.

I've signed

j.

legislation

GAP FILL:

Sarkozy tells Obama - Netanyahu is a ‘liar’

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a diplomatic (1) gaffe at the G20 (2) summit in Cannes last week by telling U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "a liar". The two presidents were having a (3) private conversation and both believed the (4) nearby recording machines of journalists were switched off. Sarkozy said to Obama: "I cannot (5) bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," to which Obama replied: "You're (6) fed up with him, but I have to (7) deal with him even more often than you." Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told Israel’s army radio station that: "Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, (8) certainly in such competitive professions."

The White House press secretary Jay Carney (9) refused to comment on the conversation when questioned by reporters. It is believed Obama and Sarkozy were talking about Palestine’s (10) bid for full membership of UNESCO at the time, and that the U.S. leader was expressing his (11) regret that his French counterpart had backed the Palestinians' bid. Presidential gaffes such as Sarkozy and Obama's are not (12) uncommon. Perhaps the most famous one was made by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He was (13) unaware a tape was left (14) running after a sound check and made a joke about the Soviet Union, saying: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've (15) signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin (16) bombing in five minutes."

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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