My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |  HELP MY SITE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
My 1,000
Ideas
e-Book
 
 

Date: Jul 6, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:00 - 236.1 KB - 16kbps)

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

 

THE ARTICLE

French President Jacques Chirac has landed himself in hot water over comments he made about British and Finnish cuisine. A reporter from France’s Liberation newspaper alleges to have overheard Mr. Chirac making culinary quips to Russian and German leaders. President Chirac joked that Finnish food was the worst in Europe, followed closely by British fare. He said: “The only thing they [the British] have done for European agriculture is mad cow”. An added swipe at British cooking was: “You can’t trust people who cook as badly as that.” His antagonistic remarks have stoked up Anglo-French rivalries ahead of the G8 summit, which begins on July 6.

Mr. Chirac’s tasteless and unsavory asides may have connotations for Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid. The final decision will be made on July 6 and two Finnish delegates are part of the deciding committee. British people have retaliated at Mr. Chirac’s broadsides against their food by boycotting French produce. British newspapers too have had a field day lambasting the French leader for his irreverent diplomatic faux pas. Egon Ronay, a renowned food critic, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “A man full of bile is not fit to pronounce on food.” The Sun was equally unrestrained, calling Mr. Chirac a “petty, racist creep”; while the Daily Express gibed, “he has lost his marbles”.

WARM-UPS

1. BEST AND WORST: In pairs / groups, tell each other why you believe your country’s cuisine is the best in the world. Also, talk about which country has the worst tasting food in the world.

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

Jacques Chirac/ hot water / Finnish cuisine / British food / mad cow disease / 2012 Olympics / French produce / supermarkets / faux pas / racism / marbles

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

3. FRENCH CUISINE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with French food. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. OPINIONS ON CHIRAC: In pairs / groups, talk about how far you agree with these opinions about French President Chirac and his comments on food.

  1. He is a petty, racist creep.
  2. He should be forever congratulated for not supporting the war in Iraq.
  3. It’s time for him to retire. Europe needs younger leaders.
  4. He’s French and so he knows a lot about good quality food.
  5. A diplomat who makes ridiculous comments should not be at the G8 summit.
  6. Mr. Chirac made a joke. It seems the British have no sense of humour.
  7. I wonder if Mr. Chirac has ever tasted Finnish food.
  8. President Chirac has most definitely lost his marbles.
  9. I don’t understand how Mr. Chirac can say fish and chips are not tasty.
  10. British food is among the best in the world nowadays. Finnish food is good too.

5. WORLD CUISINE: In pairs / groups, talk about the most delicious things about the following cuisines.

  • Indian
  • French
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • English
  • Chinese
  • Thai
  • American
  • Japanese
  • Finnish

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

The French president put his British dinner in the trash can.

T / F

b.

Mr. Chirac said Finnish food was the worst in Europe.

T / F

c.

Mr. Chirac said British people could not cook well.

T / F

d.

Mr. Chirac’s jokes have eased Anglo-British tensions.

T / F

e.

Paris’s Olympic bid may be harmed by Mr. Chirac’s remarks.

T / F

f.

British shoppers are boycotting French produce.

T / F

g.

A British food critic said Mr. Chirac is an expert judge of good food.

T / F

h.

Mr. Chirac loves playing with marbles.

T / F

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

a.

hot water

bash

b.

quips

blunders

c.

swipe

insulting

d.

antagonistic

comments

e.

stoked up

comment

f.

asides

tirades

g.

broadsides

big trouble

h.

faux pas

gone crazy

i.

pronounce

wisecracks

j.

lost his marbles

intensified

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

landed himself

swipe at

b.

alleges

Anglo-French rivalries

c.

an added

Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid

d.

antagonistic

field day

e.

stoked up

remarks

f.

may have connotations for

pronounce on food

g.

British people have retaliated

in hot water

h.

newspapers too have had a

his marbles

i.

not fit to

at Mr. Chirac’s broadsides

j.

he has lost

to have overheard

WHILE READING / LISTENING

ODD WORD OUT: Place a line through the word that does not fit in the groups of three italicized words.

France’s Chirac rubbishes British food

French President Jacques Chirac has landed himself in hot / troubled / mineral water over comments he made about British and Finnish cuisine. A reporter from France’s “Liberation” newspaper claims / alleges / alerts to have overheard Mr. Chirac making culinary wisecracks / recipes / quips to Russian and German leaders. President Chirac joked that Finnish food was the worst in Europe, followed closely by British fare. He said: “The only thing they [the British] have done for European agriculture is mad cow”. An added swipe / swine / dig at British cooking was: “You can’t trust people who cook as badly as that.” His antagonistic remarks have played down / intensified / stoked up Anglo-French rivalries ahead of the G8 summit, which begins on July 6.

Mr. Chirac’s tasteless and unsavory besides / asides / remarks may have consultations / connotations / ramifications for Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid. The final decision will be made on July 6 and two Finnish delegates are part of the deciding committee. British people have retaliated at Mr. Chirac’s broadsides / broadsheets / tirades against their food by boycotting French produce. British newspapers too have had a field day lambasting / roasting / laminating the French leader for his irreverent diplomatic faux pas. Egon Ronay, a renowned food critic, wrote in the “Daily Telegraph”: “A man full of bile is not fit to pronounce on food.” “The Sun" was equally unrestrained, calling Mr. Chirac a “petty, racist creep”; while the “Daily Express” jeered / jived / gibed, “he has lost his marbles”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. ODD WORD OUT: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the exercise. 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. STUDENT CHIRAC/CUISINE SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about world cuisine or Jacques Chirac (or both).

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • landed
  • alleges
  • worst
  • agriculture
  • swipe
  • stoked up
  • unsavory
  • delegates
  • retaliated
  • lambasting
  • fit
  • marbles

 DISCUSSION

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

  1. What was your initial reaction to this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the story?
  3. Do you think it’s a good headline?
  4. What do you think about President Chirac’s comments?
  5. What do you think about French food?
  6. Is your country’s food the best in the world?
  7. Is it OK for Mr. Chirac to make such jokes?
  8. Are his comments real jokes or just remarks made in bad taste?
  9. Do you think Mr. Chirac has lost his marbles?
  10. Do you think President Chirac is racist?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What would you think if President Chirac rubbished your country’s food?
  4. Do you like going international and trying different cuisines?
  5. What do you know about British and Finnish food?
  6. Do you think Tony Blair should be angry at Mr. Chirac’s humour?
  7. Have you ever boycotted the produce or goods of another country?
  8. Do you think Mr. Chirac is full of bile (bitterness)?
  9. Do the newspapers in your country take delight in lambasting the leaders of other countries?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

FOOD FACTS:

Ask the other students in your class what they know about three different cuisines of the world (write them in the table). Write their answers below.

 

Famous dishes

 

Taste

Healthiness

Variety

Spices

Cuisine 1

_________
 

 

 

 

 

Cuisine 2

_________
 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuisine 3

_________
 

 

 

 

 

 

After you have finished, sit with a partner / in groups and discuss what you found out. Were you surprised at anything? Did you find out anything interesting?

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

France’s Chirac rubbishes British food

French President Jacques Chirac has landed himself in ___ _____ over comments he made about British and Finnish cuisine. A reporter from France’s Liberation newspaper _______ ___ ____ overheard Mr. Chirac making culinary _____ to Russian and German leaders. He joked that Finnish food was the worst in Europe, followed closely by British ____. President Chirac said: “The only thing they [the British] have done for European agriculture is mad cow”. An _____ _____ at British cooking was: “You can’t trust people who cook as badly as that.” His ____________ remarks have _______ ___ Anglo-French rivalries ahead of the G8 summit, which begins on July 6.

Mr. Chirac’s tasteless and __________ _______ may have connotations for Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid. The final decision will be made on July 6 and two ________ ________ are part of the deciding committee. British people have ___________ ___ Mr. Chirac’s broadsides against their food by boycotting French produce. British newspapers too have had __ _____ ____ lambasting the French leader for his irreverent diplomatic ____ ___. Egon Ronay, a renowned food critic, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “A man ____ __ ____ is not fit to pronounce on food.” The Sun was equally unrestrained, calling Mr. Chirac a “petty, racist creep”; while the Daily Express gibed, “he has ____ ___ _______”.

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 more information on the fallout from Mr. Chirac’s comments. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. YUMMY: Write a description of your favourite food. Describe exactly how you like it cooked / prepared, how it makes you feel and how important it is to you. Write about the history you have with this food. Read your descriptions to your classmates in your next lesson. Did everyone write about similar foods?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to French President Jacques Chirac. Tell him what you think of his comments on British and Finnish food. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

hot water

big trouble

b.

quips

wisecracks

c.

swipe

bash

d.

antagonistic

insulting

e.

stoked up

intensified

f.

asides

comments

g.

broadsides

tirades

h.

faux pas

blunders

i.

pronounce

comment

j.

lost his marbles gone crazy

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

landed himself

in hot water

b.

alleges

to have overheard

c.

an added

swipe at

d.

antagonistic

remarks

e.

stoked up

Anglo-French rivalries

f.

may have connotations for

Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid

g.

British people have retaliated

at Mr. Chirac’s broadsides

h.

newspapers too have had a

field day

i.

not fit to

pronounce on food

j.

he has lost

his marbles

ODD WORD OUT:

France’s Chirac rubbishes British food

French President Jacques Chirac has landed himself in hot / troubled / mineral water over comments he made about British and Finnish cuisine. A reporter from France’s “Liberation” newspaper claims / alleges / alerts to have overheard Mr. Chirac making culinary wisecracks / recipes / quips to Russian and German leaders. President Chirac joked that Finnish food was the worst in Europe, followed closely by British fare. He said: “The only thing they [the British] have done for European agriculture is mad cow”. An added swipe / swine / dig at British cooking was: “You can’t trust people who cook as badly as that.” His antagonistic remarks have played down / intensified / stoked up Anglo-French rivalries ahead of the G8 summit, which begins on July 6.

Mr. Chirac’s tasteless and unsavory besides / asides / remarks may have consultations / connotations / ramifications for Paris’s 2012 Olympics bid. The final decision will be made on July 6 and two Finnish delegates are part of the deciding committee. British people have retaliated at Mr. Chirac’s broadsides / broadsheets / tirades against their food by boycotting French produce. British newspapers too have had a field day lambasting / roasting / laminating the French leader for his irreverent diplomatic faux pas. Egon Ronay, a renowned food critic, wrote in the “Daily Telegraph”: “A man full of bile is not fit to pronounce on food.” “The Sun" was equally unrestrained, calling Mr. Chirac a “petty, racist creep”; while the “Daily Express” jeered / jived / gibed, “he has lost his marbles”.

TOP



 
 


 
 

Copyright © 2004-2005 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy

 
 
SHARE THIS LESSON: E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

000's more free lessons.