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Jordan Politician Pulls Gun in TV Debate (9th July, 2012)

A Jordanian politician has taken a leaf out of the book of the Wild West way of settling things by pulling a gun on his opponent in a TV debate. Mohammed Shawabka, a member of Jordan's parliament, was engaged in a fierce discussion over the crisis in Syria with former lawmaker Mansur Murad on a televised chat show. Things became heated and Mr Shawabka lost his cool. First, he threw his shoe at his adversary – this is considered a huge insult for Muslims; he followed this up by pulling a gun and aiming it at Mr Murad. No shots were fired but the show's host immediately pounced on Shawabka. Furniture went flying as the host tried to separate the two and the show was ended by its producers.

The brawl has now gone viral on the Internet. Many have commented on the irony that a discussion on violence in Syria itself ended in fighting. Things took a turn for the worse after Shawabka accused Murad of spying for Syria's government. Murad responded by accusing Shawabka of being an Israeli spy who got into power by buying votes. He followed this by cursing Shawabka's father. That seemed to be the final straw as Shawabka, who snapped. According to local Jordanian media, Mr Murad is planning to file charges of attempted murder against Mr Shawabka. Shawabkeh justified his actions by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling them "corrupt parasites."

WARM-UPS

1. POLITICS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about politics. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

politician / a leaf / the Wild West / TV debate / crisis in Syria / huge insult / guns / gone viral / violence / a turn for the worse / spy / cursing / the final straw / parasites

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

3. POLITICIANS: How can they improve? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Good things now

Bad things now

Improvements

Public image

 

 

 

Dress

 

 

 

Promises

 

 

 

Speeches

 

 

 

Results

 

 

 

Oratory skills

 

 

 

4. NON-CORRUPT: Students A strongly believe no politician will be corrupt in the future; Students B strongly believe this is impossible.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. DEBATE: What would you like to debate most? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often. Have the debates.

  • the situation in Syria
  • global warming
  • gun crime
  • the economy
  • the evils of the Internet
  • how to raise children
  • money in sport
  • the best movie ever

6. GUN: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'gun'. 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.

A politician in Jordan came to a chat show dressed as a cowboy.

T / F

b.

The guy was debating the poor economy in his country.

T / F

c.

He pulled a gun on his opponent who had thrown a shoe at him.

T / F

d.

There were no shots fired from the gun.

T / F

e.

The article says it is ironic a discussion on violence ended in violence.

T / F

f.

The opponent suggested the gun holder was a spy for Syria.

T / F

g.

The opponent said bad things about the gunslinger's father.

T / F

h.

The opponent is pressing charges of attempted murder.

T / F

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

1.

politician

a.

calm

2.

opponent

b.

gave reasons for

3.

fierce

c.

rival; adversary

4.

cool

d.

jumped

5.

pounced

e.

blamed

6.

brawl

f.

legislator

7.

accused

g.

spongers

8.

snapped

h.

passionate

9.

justified

i.

lost control

10.

parasites

j.

fight

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

1.

engaged in a fierce

a.

for the worse

2.

Things became

b.

aiming it at Mr Murad

3.

this is considered a huge

c.

murder

4.

pulling a gun and

d.

discussion

5.

the host tried to separate

e.

insult for Muslims

6.

The brawl has now gone

f.

parasites

7.

Things took a turn

g.

viral on the Internet

8.

the final

h.

the two

9.

file charges of attempted

i.

heated

10.

corrupt

j.

straw


 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A Jordanian politician has taken a (1) ____________ out of the book of the Wild West way of (2) ____________ things by pulling a gun on his opponent in a TV debate. Mohammed Shawabka, a member of Jordan's parliament, was engaged in a (3) ____________ discussion over the crisis in Syria with former lawmaker Mansur Murad on a televised chat show. Things became heated and Mr Shawabka lost his (4) ____________. First, he threw his shoe at his adversary – this is considered a (5) ____________ insult for Muslims; he followed this up by pulling a gun and (6) ____________ it at Mr Murad. No shots were fired but the show's host immediately (7) ____________ on Shawabka. Furniture went flying as the host tried to (8) ____________ the two and the show was ended by its producers.

 

 

 

huge
fierce
pounced
leaf
cool
separate
settling
aiming

The brawl has now gone (9) ____________ on the Internet. Many have commented on the (10) ____________ that a discussion on violence in Syria itself ended in fighting. Things took a (11) ____________ for the worse after Shawabka accused Murad of spying for Syria's government. Murad responded by             (12) ____________ Shawabka of being an Israeli spy who got into power by buying votes. He followed this by (13) ____________ Shawabka's father. That seemed to be the (14) ____________ straw as Shawabka, who snapped. According to local Jordanian media, Mr Murad is planning to file charges of (15) ____________ murder against Mr Shawabka. Shawabkeh justified his actions by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling them "(16) ____________ parasites."

 

 

turn
corrupt
final
viral
cursing
irony
accusing
attempted

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A Jordanian politician has (1) ___________________ of the book of the Wild West way (2) ___________________ pulling a gun on his opponent in a TV debate. Mohammed Shawabka, a member of Jordan's parliament, was (3) ___________________ discussion over the crisis in Syria with former lawmaker Mansur Murad on a televised chat show. Things became heated and Mr Shawabka lost his cool. First, he threw his (4) __________________ – this is considered a huge insult for Muslims; he followed this up by pulling a gun (5) ___________________ Mr Murad. No shots were fired but the show's host immediately pounced on Shawabka. Furniture went flying as the host (6) ____________________ and the show was ended by its producers.

The brawl has (7) ___________________ the Internet. Many have commented on the irony that a discussion on violence in Syria itself ended in fighting. Things took (8) ___________________ after Shawabka accused Murad of spying for Syria's government. Murad responded by accusing Shawabka of being an Israeli spy who got into (9) ___________________. He followed this by cursing Shawabka's father. That (10) ___________________ straw as Shawabka, who snapped. According to local Jordanian media, Mr Murad is (1) _____________________ of attempted murder against Mr Shawabka. Shawabkeh justified his actions by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling (12) _________________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'wild' and 'west'.

wild

west

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • book
  • fierce
  • heated
  • shoe
  • fired
  • host
  • viral
  • spying
  • buying
  • final
  • file
  • members

POLITICS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about politics 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.


 
 

POLITICIANS 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 'politician'?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

How is the behavior of politicians in your country?

e)

What do you think of a politician carrying a gun?

f)

Should politicians get so angry they lose their dignity by losing control?

g)

Should the TV show have called the police and arrested Mr Shawabka?

h)

How brave was the TV show host who jumped between the two politicians?

i)

What do you think about the crisis in Syria?

j)

When was the last time you were in a heated debate / argument?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Someone once said it's easy to understand when politicians lie, because their lips move. What does this mean? Is it true?

c)

What topics would make you argue fiercely?

d)

How would you rate your politicians (out of 10)?

e)

Do you want to see the Internet video of the feuding politicians?

f)

What does it say about a politician's character that he curses another politician's father?

g)

Should politicians always be as passionate as this?

h)

Do you think Mr Murad will be successful in his charges of attempted murder?

i)

To what degree are politicians "corrupt parasites"?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Mohammed Shawabka?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A Jordanian politician has taken a (1) ____ out of the book of the Wild West way of settling things by pulling a gun (2) ____ his opponent in a TV debate. Mohammed Shawabka, a member of Jordan's parliament, was (3) ____ in a fierce discussion over the crisis in Syria with former lawmaker Mansur Murad on a televised chat show. Things became heated and Mr Shawabka lost his (4) ____. First, he threw his shoe at his adversary – this is (5) ____ a huge insult for Muslims; he followed this up by pulling a gun and aiming it at Mr Murad. No shots were fired but the show's host immediately (6) ____ on Shawabka. Furniture went flying as the host tried to separate the two and the show was ended by its producers.

The brawl has now gone viral on the Internet. Many have commented on the         (7) ____ that a discussion on violence in Syria itself ended in fighting. Things took a (8) ____ for the worse after Shawabka accused Murad of spying for Syria's government. Murad responded (9) ____ accusing Shawabka of being an Israeli spy who got into power by buying votes. He followed this by cursing Shawabka's father. That seemed to be the final (10) ____ as Shawabka, who snapped. According to local Jordanian media, Mr Murad is planning to (11) ____ charges of attempted murder against Mr Shawabka. Shawabkeh justified his actions by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling them "corrupt      (12) ____."

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

1.

(a)

trunk

(b)

branch

(c)

twig

(d)

leaf

2.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

as

(d)

of

3.

(a)

engaged

(b)

married

(c)

separated

(d)

divorced

4.

(a)

warm

(b)

tepid

(c)

cool

(d)

cold

5.

(a)

considering

(b)

consider

(c)

considered

(d)

considers

6.

(a)

flounced

(b)

pounced

(c)

bounced

(d)

enounced

7.

(a)

irony

(b)

ebony

(c)

matrimony

(d)

harmony

8.

(a)

spin

(b)

swivel

(c)

revolution

(d)

turn

9.

(a)

of

(b)

by

(c)

for

(d)

as

10.

(a)

turf

(b)

grass

(c)

hay

(d)

straw

11.

(a)

snatch

(b)

trim

(c)

file

(d)

ease

12.

(a)

parasites

(b)

parachutes

(c)

parapets

(d)

parallels


 
 

WRITING

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

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

4. DEBATE: Write a magazine article about the debate. Include imaginary interviews with the two men.

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 Jordan's parliamentary leader. Ask him three questions about the debate. 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.

F

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

politician

a.

legislator

2.

opponent

b.

rival; adversary

3.

fierce

c.

passionate

4.

cool

d.

calm

5.

pounced

e.

jumped

6.

brawl

f.

fight

7.

accused

g.

blamed

8.

snapped

h.

lost control

9.

justified

i.

gave reasons for

10.

parasites

j.

spongers

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

engaged in a fierce

a.

discussion

2.

Things became

b.

heated

3.

this is considered a huge

c.

insult for Muslims

4.

pulling a gun and

d.

aiming it at Mr Murad

5.

the host tried to separate

e.

the two

6.

The brawl has now gone

f.

viral on the Internet

7.

Things took a turn

g.

for the worse

8.

the final

h.

straw

9.

file charges of attempted

i.

murder

10.

corrupt

j.

parasites

GAP FILL:

Jordan politician pulls gun in TV debate

A Jordanian politician has taken a (1) leaf out of the book of the Wild West way of (2) settling things by pulling a gun on his opponent in a TV debate. Mohammed Shawabka, a member of Jordan's parliament, was engaged in a (3) fierce discussion over the crisis in Syria with former lawmaker Mansur Murad on a televised chat show. Things became heated and Mr Shawabka lost his (4) cool. First, he threw his shoe at his adversary – this is considered a (5) huge insult for Muslims; he followed this up by pulling a gun and (6) aiming it at Mr Murad. No shots were fired but the show's host immediately (7) pounced on Shawabka. Furniture went flying as the host tried to (8) separate the two and the show was ended by its producers.

The brawl has now gone (9) viral on the Internet. Many have commented on the (10) irony that a discussion on violence in Syria itself ended in fighting. Things took a (11) turn for the worse after Shawabka accused Murad of spying for Syria's government. Murad responded by (12) accusing Shawabka of being an Israeli spy who got into power by buying votes. He followed this by (13) cursing Shawabka's father. That seemed to be the (14) final straw as Shawabka, who snapped. According to local Jordanian media, Mr Murad is planning to file charges of (15) attempted murder against Mr Shawabka. Shawabkeh justified his actions by saying that Murad started attacking members of the Jordanian government, calling them "(16) corrupt parasites."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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