The Reading / Listening - Level 6

After more than ten days of stalemate in the U.S., things have finally begun to start moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down for talks on Thursday about the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the looming debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarifying". Hopes are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit. Failure to do so by October 17 could have dire consequences for the global economy.



A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per cent of those surveyed blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are having trouble understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is chilling is that US politicians are willing to engage in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to settle its debts."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Level 4  or  Level 5

Sources
  • http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-encouraged-by-offer-of-debt-limit-deal/1767272.html
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-2448301
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24467534


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



The 40 Lesson Activities on the PDF Handout

WARM-UPS

1. U.S. POLITICS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about U.S. politics. Change partners often 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.

 

stalemate / talks / government shutdown / analysts / debt limit / global economy / Republicans / U.S. politics / brinkmanship / fundamentally wrong / stagnation

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

3. ISSUES: What do you think of these big issues commonly discussed in America? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Democrat view

Republican view

Your view

Taxes

 

 

 

Military spending

 

 

 

"Obama-care"

 

 

 

Size of government

 

 

 

Gay marriage

 

 

 

The "War on Terror"

 

 

 

4. STRONG USA: Students A strongly believe the USA will bounce back stronger from this current crisis; Students B strongly believe not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.



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5. USA: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the things that the USA is great for at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • democracy

  • equal rights

  • food

  • education

  • human rights

  • world peace

  • economic stability

  • freedom of speech

6. GOVERNMENT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "government". 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.

There has been 10 days of checkmate in U.S. politics.

T / F

b.

President Obama sat down for talks with the House Majority Leader.

T / F

c.

The House Majority Leader said he wanted more clarification.

T / F

d.

The size of the U.S. debt limit is currently $16.7 trillion.

T / F

e.

More people blame Obama's opponents than Obama.

T / F

f.

An Indian newspaper criticized the U.S. for endangering its economy.

T / F

g.

The newspaper said the U.S. should reduce its nuclear devices.

T / F

h.

A UAE businessman is shocked at the system of US government.

T / F

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

1.

stalemate / impasse

a.

equal to

2.

partial

b.

provisional

3.

clarifying

c.

pay

4.

temporary

d.

deadlock

5.

dire

e.

frightening

6.

blamed

f.

limited

7.

chilling

g.

take part in

8.

engage

h.

terrible

9.

tantamount

i.

accused

10.

settle

j.

illuminating

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

1.

After more than ten days

a.

of brinkmanship

2.

the impasse over the partial

b.

increase

3.

analysts are taking a

c.

U.S. government shutdown

4.

agree on a temporary increase

d.

of stalemate

5.

have dire consequences

e.

positive note

6.

53 per cent

f.

wrong

7.

having trouble understanding

g.

for the global economy

8.

engage in a game

h.

what is going on

9.

something fundamentally

i.

its debts

10.

settle

j.

of those surveyed





 

GAP FILL

After more than ten days of (1) ____________ in the U.S., things have finally begun to start (2) ____________. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down for (3) ____________ on Thursday about the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the (4) ____________ debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive (5) ____________ that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarifying". Hopes are that the two (6) ____________ will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt (7) ____________. Failure to do so by October 17 could have (8) ____________ consequences for the global economy.

 

 

dire
moving
sides
looming
stalemate
limit
talks
note

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News (9) ____________ found 53 per cent of those (10) ____________ blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are having (11) ____________ understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is (12) ____________ is that US politicians are willing to (13) ____________ in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something (14) ____________ wrong with a system that leaves a country without (15) ____________, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to (16) ____________ its debts."

 

engage
trouble
settle
poll
direction
surveyed
chilling
fundamentally





LISTENING - Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)

After more than ten days of ______

 

a.  stalemate in the U.S.
b.  state mate in the U.S.
c.  stale made in the U.S.
d.  steel made in the U.S.

2)

the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the ______

 

a.  blooming debt crisis
b.  loom in debt crisis
c.  loo Ming debt crisis
d.  looming debt crisis

3)

Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" ______

 

a.  and "clarify in."
b.  and "clarification."
c.  and "clarifies in."
d.  and "clarifying."

4)

the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion ______

 

a.  U.S. debt limits
b.  U.S. debt limit
c.  U.S. debt limiting
d.  U.S. debt limited

5)

Failure to do so by October 17 could ______

 

a.  have dire consequence
b.  have dire consequential
c.  have dire consequences
d.  have dire consequentially

6)

53 per cent of those surveyed ______

 

a.  blamed Republicans
b.  flamed Republicans
c.  claimed Republicans
d.  maimed Republicans

7)

other countries are having trouble understanding what ______

 

a.  is go in on
b.  is going on
c.  is go in off
d.  is going down

8)

US politicians are willing to engage in a ______

 

a.  game of craftsmanship
b.  game of championship
c.  game of brinkmanship
d.  game of one-upmanship

9)

something fundamentally wrong with a system that leaves a country ______

 

a.  without directive
b.  without director
c.  without directed
d.  without direction

10)

potentially without the wherewithal to ______

 

a.  petal its debts
b.  settle its debts
c.  mettle its debts
d.  kettle its debts

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

After more than ten (1) ___________________ the U.S., things have finally begun to start moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, (2) ___________________ on Thursday about (3) ___________________ the partial U.S. government shutdown and (4) ___________________ crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarifying". Hopes (5) ___________________ sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit. Failure to do so by October 17 (6) ___________________ consequences for the global economy.

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per (7) ___________________ blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are having trouble understanding (8) ___________________ U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What (9) ___________________ US politicians are willing to engage in a game of brinkmanship (10) ___________________ to detonating a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something (11) ___________________ with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially (12) ___________________ to settle its debts."





COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

How many days of deadlock were there in the U.S. before talks began?

2.

Who did President Obama sit down and talk to?

3.

How are analysts viewing the talks?

4.

What is Eric Cantor's position?

5.

By when must politicians decide about the debt limit?

6.

What percentage of people blamed President Obama for the shutdown?

7.

What are other countries having trouble doing?

8.

To what did an Indian newspaper compare the actions of US politicians?

9.

Who said there was something "fundamentally wrong" with the US?

10.

What did a businessman say the USA might not be able to do?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

How many days of deadlock were there in the U.S. before talks began?

6.

What percentage of people blamed President Obama for the shutdown?

 

a) 9
b) over 10
c) two weeks
d) exactly 10

 

a) 32
b) 17
c) 53
d) 16.7

2.

Who did President Obama sit down and talk to?

7.

What are other countries having trouble doing?

 

a) Vladimir Putin
b) Oprah Winfrey
c) John Boehner
d) Eric Cantor

 

a) playing a game of brinkmanship
b) controlling the U.S. dollar
c) talking to President Obama
d) understanding US politics

3.

How are analysts viewing the talks?

8.

To what did an Indian newspaper compare the actions of US politicians?

 

a) skeptically
b) negatively
c) carefully
d) positively

 

a) a third-world nation
b) aliens and madmen
c) exploding a nuclear bomb
d) a horror movie

4.

What is Eric Cantor's position?

9.

Who said there was something "fundamentally wrong" with the US?

 

a) Treasury Secretary
b) House Majority Leader
c) Secretary of State
d) Speaker of the House

 

a) an Indian newspaper editor
b) Barack Obama
c) Vladimir Putin
d) a UAE businessman

5.

By when must politicians decide about the debt limit?

10.

What did a businessman say the USA might not be able to do?

 

a) 17th October
b) the end of this year
c) Friday, October 25
d) the last day of the month

 

a) recover
b) pay its debts
c) be democratic
d) stay as the world's #1 economy

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Human rights

You think the U.S. is best for human rights. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these America is worst at (and why): world peace, good food or democracy.

Role  B – World peace

You think the U.S. is best for world peace. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these America is worst at (and why): human rights, good food or democracy.

Role  C – Good food

You think the U.S. is best for good food. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these America is worst at (and why): world peace, human rights or democracy.

Role  D – Democracy

You think the U.S. is best for democracy. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which of these America is worst at (and why): world peace, good food or human rights.





AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

debt

 

limit

 

 

  • 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:

  • finally
  • impasse
  • certain
  • note
  • sides
  • dire
  • surveyed
  • 31
  • going
  • game
  • wrong
  • settle

U.S. POLITICS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about U.S. 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.

U.S. POLITICS 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 'government'?

c)

What do you know about the cause of the U.S. government shutdown?

d)

Could something like this happen in your country?

e)

Has this crisis damaged America's image around the world?

f)

Why didn't leaders talk to each other for over 10 days?

g)

What do you think American people think about their leaders?

h)

Are analysts right to be positive about the situation?

i)

What happens if the USA does not raise its debt limit?

j)

What questions would you like to ask John Boehner?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

b)

Who do you think is to blame for the shutdown?

c)

Why are people blaming the Republicans?

d)

Why are people blaming President Obama?

e)

Has your view of President Obama changed because of this crisis?

f)

What do you think of the comment from the Times of India?

g)

Is the UAE man right – that there is something badly wrong with America's system of government?

h)

What's your advice to the U.S. politicians?

i)

Who will be hurt most if U.S. politicians cannot find a solution?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Barack Obama?





DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

LANGUAGE - CLOZE

After more than ten days of (1) ____ in the U.S., things have finally begun to start moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down for (2) ____ on Thursday about the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the (3) ____ debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain (4) ____, but analysts are taking a positive note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "(5) ____." Hopes are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit. Failure to do so by October 17 could have (6) ____ consequences for the global economy.

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per cent of those (7) ____ blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are (8) ____ trouble understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is (9) ____ is that US politicians are willing to engage in a (10) ____ of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something (11) ____ wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to (12) ____ its debts."

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

1.

(a)

stalemate

(b)

checkmate

(c)

intimate

(d)

soulmate

2.

(a)

talkies

(b)

talking

(c)

talks

(d)

talkative

3.

(a)

teeming

(b)

seeming

(c)

looming

(d)

booming

4.

(a)

income

(b)

outgoing

(c)

ongoing

(d)

outcome

5.

(a)

clarify

(b)

clarification

(c)

clarifying

(d)

clarity

6.

(a)

fuel

(b)

dire

(c)

shun

(d)

nope

7.

(a)

surveys

(b)

surveyed

(c)

surveyors

(d)

servants

8.

(a)

seeing

(b)

having

(c)

meeting

(d)

opening

9.

(a)

freezing

(b)

frosting

(c)

chilling

(d)

icing

10.

(a)

final

(b)

pastime

(c)

activity

(d)

game

11.

(a)

fundamentals

(b)

fundamentalist

(c)

fundamental

(d)

fundamentally

12.

(a)

land

(b)

soothe

(c)

inhabit

(d)

settle

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

more than ten days of eealttasm

2.

talks on Thursday about the pisaesm

3.

the rapltai U.S. government shutdown

4.

snstayla are taking a positive note

5.

agree on a rrmyotaep increase

6.

have dire neuscqeencso

Paragraph 2

7.

53 per cent of those erevdysu blamed Republicans

8.

eorsrebvs from other countries

9.

a game of armbninkhsip

10.

ntgoeaidtn a nuclear device

11.

something mltalfduenyna wrong

12.

without the tihrweewhal to settle its debts

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

to do so by October 17 could have dire consequences for the global economy.

(    )

without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to settle its debts."

(    )

debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive

(    )

chilling is that US politicians are willing to engage in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating

(    )

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per cent of those surveyed blamed Republicans

(    )

note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful"

(    )

a nuclear device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something

(    )

having trouble understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is

1  )

After more than ten days of stalemate in the U.S., things have finally begun to start

(    )

for the government shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama. Observers from other countries are

(    )

and "clarifying". Hopes are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit. Failure

(    )

fundamentally wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation,

(    )

moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down

(    )

for talks on Thursday about the impasse over the partial U.S. government shutdown and the looming

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

days     more     U.S.     the     of    than    stalemate    ten    After    in.    

2.

certain     didn't     outcome     lead     to     Their     any     discussions.    

3.

that     Taking     talks     a     are     positive     happening     note.    

4.

will     that     agree     the     two     Hopes     sides     are.    

5.

the     for     consequences     dire     Have     economy     global.    

6.

those     53     surveyed     per     blamed     cent     Republicans     of.    

7.

what    U.S.    in    is    Trouble    going    understanding    politics    on.    

8.

engage   in   game   brinkmanship   are   a   of   Politicians   willing   to.

9.

country     system     without     that     direction     leaves     a     A.    

10.

wherewithal     debts     the     its     without     settle    Potentially    to.    

CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

After more than ten days of checkmate / stalemate in the U.S., things have finally begun to start movements / moving. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, sat down for talking / talks on Thursday about the impasse over the partially / partial U.S. government shutdown and the looming / blooming debt crisis. Their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome, but analysts are taking a positive notation / note that talks are happening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarification" / "clarifying". Hopes / Hopers are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $16.7 trillion / quadrillion U.S. debt limit. Failure to do so by October 17 could have dire / mire consequences for the global economy.

A Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll found 53 per cent of those surveys / surveyed blamed Republicans for the government clampdown / shutdown, while 31 per cent blamed / blaming President Obama. Observers from other countries are having trouble / problem understanding what is going on in U.S. politics. The Times of India wrote: "What is frosting / chilling is that US politicians are willing to engage / marry in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount / paramount to detonating a nuclear vice / device over their economy." A UAE businessman commented that: "There is something fundamentally / fundamentals wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction, in stagnation, without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to settle / land its debts."

Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.





INSERT THE VOWELS (a, e, i, o, u)

_ft_r m_r_ th_n t_n d_ys _f st_l_m_t_ _n th_ _.S., th_ngs h_v_ f_n_lly b_g_n t_ st_rt m_v_ng. Pr_s_d_nt B_r_ck _b_m_ _nd th_ R_p_bl_c_n Sp__k_r _f th_ H__s_ _f R_pr_s_nt_t_v_s, J_hn B__hn_r, s_t d_wn f_r t_lks _n Th_rsd_y _b__t th_ _mp_ss_ _v_r th_ p_rt__l _.S. g_v_rnm_nt sh_td_wn _nd th_ l__m_ng d_bt cr_s_s. Th__r d_sc_ss__ns d_dn't l__d t_ _ny c_rt__n __tc_m_, b_t _n_lysts _r_ t_k_ng _ p_s_t_v_ n_t_ th_t t_lks _r_ h_pp_n_ng. H__s_ M_j_r_ty L__d_r _r_c C_nt_r s__d th_ t_lks w_r_ "v_ry _s_f_l" _nd "cl_r_fy_ng." H_p_s _r_ th_t th_ tw_ s_d_s w_ll _gr__ _n _ t_mp_r_ry _ncr__s_ t_ th_ $16.7 tr_ll__n _.S. d_bt l_m_t. F__l_r_ t_ d_ s_ by _ct_b_r 17 c__ld h_v_ d_r_ c_ns_q__nc_s f_r th_ gl_b_l _c_n_my.

_ W_ll Str__t J__rn_l / NBC N_ws p_ll f__nd 53 p_r c_nt _f th_s_ s_rv_y_d bl_m_d R_p_bl_c_ns f_r th_ g_v_rnm_nt sh_td_wn, wh_l_ 31 p_r c_nt bl_m_d Pr_s_d_nt _b_m_. _bs_rv_rs fr_m _th_r c__ntr__s _r_ h_v_ng tr__bl_ _nd_rst_nd_ng wh_t _s g__ng _n _n _.S. p_l_t_cs. Th_ T_m_s _f _nd__ wr_t_: "Wh_t _s ch_ll_ng _s th_t _S p_l_t_c__ns _r_ w_ll_ng t_ _ng_g_ _n _ g_m_ _f br_nkm_nsh_p th_t _s t_nt_m__nt t_ d_t_n_t_ng _ n_cl__r d_v_c_ _v_r th__r _c_n_my." _ ___ b_s_n_ssm_n c_mm_nt_d th_t: "Th_r_ _s s_m_th_ng f_nd_m_nt_lly wr_ng w_th _ syst_m th_t l__v_s _ c__ntry w_th__t d_r_ct__n, _n st_gn_t__n, w_th__t _ b_dg_t _nd p_t_nt__lly w_th__t th_ wh_r_w_th_l t_ s_ttl_ _ts d_bts."

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

after more than ten days of stalemate in the us things have finally begun to start moving president barack obama and the republican speaker of the house of representatives john boehner sat down for talks on thursday about the impasse over the partial us government shutdown and the looming debt crisis their discussions didn't lead to any certain outcome but analysts are taking a positive note that talks are happening house majority leader eric cantor said the talks were "very useful" and "clarifying" hopes are that the two sides will agree on a temporary increase to the $167 trillion us debt limit failure to do so by october 17 could have dire consequences for the global economy

a wall street journal / nbc news poll found 53 per cent of those surveyed blamed republicans for the government shutdown while 31 per cent blamed president obama observers from other countries are having trouble understanding what is going on in us politics the times of india wrote "what is chilling is that us politicians are willing to engage in a game of brinkmanship that is tantamount to detonating a nuclear device over their economy" a uae businessman commented that "there is something fundamentally wrong with a system that leaves a country without direction in stagnation without a budget and potentially without the wherewithal to settle its debts"

PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

AftermorethantendaysofstalemateintheU.S.,thingshavefinallybeguntostartm
oving.PresidentBarackObamaandtheRepublicanSpeakeroftheHouseofRepres
entatives,JohnBoehner,satdownfortalksonThursdayabouttheimpasseoverthe
partialU.S.governmentshutdownandtheloomingdebtcrisis.Theirdiscussionsdi
dn'tleadtoanycertainoutcome,butanalystsaretakingapositivenotethattalksare
happening.HouseMajorityLeaderEricCantorsaidthetalkswere"veryuseful"and"
clarifying."Hopesarethatthetwosideswillagreeonatemporaryincreasetothe$16
.7trillionU.S.debtlimit.FailuretodosobyOctober17couldhavedireconsequences
fortheglobaleconomy.AWallStreetJournal/NBCNewspollfound53percentoftho
sesurveyedblamedRepublicansforthegovernmentshutdown,while31percentbl
amedPresidentObama.Observersfromothercountriesarehavingtroubleunders
tandingwhatisgoingoninU.S.politics.TheTimesofIndiawrote:"Whatischillingist
hatUSpoliticiansarewillingtoengageinagameofbrinkmanshipthatistantamount
todetonatinganucleardeviceovertheireconomy."AUAEbusinessmancommente
dthat:"Thereissomethingfundamentallywrongwithasystemthatleavesacountr
ywithoutdirection,instagnation,withoutabudgetandpotentiallywithoutthewhe
rewithaltosettleitsdebts."





FREE WRITING

Write about U.S. politics for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner's paper.

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ACADEMIC WRITING

The USA has the best system of government in the world.   Discuss.

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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 the partial government shutdown and the talks between the two parties. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

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

4. SHUTDOWN: Write a magazine article about the partial U.S. shutdown. Include imaginary interviews with people who think the U.S. system of government is good and those who think it isn't.

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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to President Barack Obama. Ask him three questions about what's happening in U.S. politics. Give him three ideas on what to do to end the crisis. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

F

b

F

c

F

d

T

e

T

f

T

g

F

h

T

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

stalemate / impasse

a.

deadlock

2.

partial

b.

limited

3.

clarifying

c.

illuminating

4.

temporary

d.

provisional

5.

dire

e.

terrible

6.

blamed

f.

accused

7.

chilling

g.

frightening

8.

engage

h.

take part in

9.

tantamount

i.

equal to

10.

settle

j.

pay

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

More than 10

2.

John Boehner

3.

Positively

4.

House Majority Leader

5.

October 17

6.

31

7.

Understanding U.S. politics

8.

Detonating a nuclear device over their economy

9.

A UAE businessman

10.

Pay its debts

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

b

2.

c

3.

d

4.

b

5.

a

6.

a

7.

d

8.

c

9.

d

10.

b

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Please check for yourself by looking at the Article on page 2.
(It's good for your English ;-)

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