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My 1,000
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Date: Jul 7, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:56 - 227.3 KB - 16kbps)

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

 

THE ARTICLE

London has been awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games after the most closely contested fight to stage the event in its history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime frontrunner, would get the victory it had expected. However, with the final round of voting down to two cities, London managed to edge its rival by 54 to 50 votes and pip Paris to the finishing post. Following the announcement, crowds in London erupted into euphoria and were showered with confetti. Meanwhile, expectant Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris win went home in subdued and stunned silence. The fizz from their planned celebrations had gone flat.

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. Bid organizers managed to string together an impressive array of high profile sporting and political figures to win over the International Olympic Committee members. A huge boost came via an endorsement from Nelson Mandela. Other big names in the London camp included Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Britain’s own two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe. Prime Minister Tony Blair took time off from the G8 summit to make an eleventh-hour dash to Singapore to add further weight to tip the balance in London’s favor. His whistle-stop visit paid big dividends.

WARM-UPS

1. OLYMPIC CHAMPION: Imagine you are an Olympic champion. Decide for what sport you won your gold medal. Talk to the other Olympic champions in your class about being champion and how you won your medal. How has your life changed since becoming champion?

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

London / the Olympic Games / Paris / euphoria / silence / fizz / Nelson Mandela / David Beckham / gold medals / whistle-stop visits

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

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

4. OLYMPIC OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about how far you agree with these opinions about the Olympics.

  1. London deserved to get the Olympics.
  2. London won because France’s Jacques Chirac criticized British and Finnish food.
  3. It’s time for the Olympics to be held in Africa.
  4. I really want to go to London in 2012.
  5. The Olympics are not important – It’s just sport.
  6. The World Cup is much bigger and more important than the Olympics.
  7. London is the world’s greatest city.
  8. The Olympic Games is more about politics than sport.
  9. Paris should get the 2016 Olympic Games.
  10. The Olympics is a true celebration of human togetherness.

5. LOSING CITIES: In pairs / groups, talk about whether London is the best city to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Compare London to the other cities that were in the final round of voting.

  • London
  • Paris
  • Madrid
  • New York
  • Moscow

Do you think your city should one day host the Olympics?


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

London easily won the right to stage the 2012 Olympic Games.

T / F

b.

The final round of voting was between London, Paris and New York.

T / F

c.

People in London threw confetti in the air.

T / F

d.

People in Paris had to drink sodas that had gone flat.

T / F

e.

London last held the Olympics 29 years ago.

T / F

f.

Nelson Mandela backed London’s bid.

T / F

g.

Tony Blair dashed to Singapore to help London win.

T / F

h.

British companies are paying their shareholders big dividends.

T / F

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

a.

host

last minute

b.

contested

crestfallen

c.

pip

beat

d.

euphoria

lineup

e.

subdued

stage

f.

string together

campaigning

g.

array

amass

h.

endorsement

ecstasy

i.

eleventh hour

backing

j.

whistle-stop

fought

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

a.

awarded

its rival

b.

the longtime

dash

c.

London managed to edge

the right to…

d.

pip Paris

and stunned silence

e.

went home in subdued

from Nelson Mandela

f.

string

paid big dividends

g.

an endorsement

to the finishing post

h.

make an eleventh-hour

in London’s favor

i.

tip the balance

together an impressive array

j.

His whistle-stop visit

frontrunner

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

London to host 2012 Olympics

London has been awarded the _______ to host the 2012 Olympic Games after the most closely contested fight to _______ the event in its history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime _______, would get the victory it had expected. However, with the final round of voting down to two cities, London managed to _______ its rival by 54 to 50 votes and pip Paris to the finishing _______. Following the announcement, crowds in London _______ into euphoria and were showered with confetti. Meanwhile, _______ Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris win went home in subdued and stunned silence. The fizz from their planned celebrations had gone _______.

 

 

frontrunner
expectant
post
right
edge
flat
stage
erupted

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. Bid organizers managed to _______ together an impressive array of high profile sporting and political figures to _______ over the International Olympic Committee members. A huge boost came _______ an endorsement from Nelson Mandela. Other big names in the London _______ included Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Britain’s _______ two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe. Prime Minister Tony Blair took time off from the G8 summit to make an eleventh-hour _______ to Singapore to add further weight to _______ the balance in London’s favor. His whistle-stop visit _______ big dividends.
 

 

via
dash
win
paid
own
tip
camp
string


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 gap fill. 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 OLYMPICS SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about London and the Olympics.

  • 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:

  • awarded
  • longtime
  • voting
  • pip
  • confetti
  • fizz
  • 1948
  • array
  • endorsement
  • two-time
  • eleventh-hour
  • dividends

 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. How did this headline make you feel?
  4. Are you glad London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics?
  5. Do you think London will do a good job at hosting the Games?
  6. Would you like your city to stage the Games?
  7. Why do you think Paris lost when it was expected to win?
  8. What do the Olympic Games mean for a city?
  9. What are your first memories of the Olympics?
  10. What do you think of Olympic athletes taking drugs?

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. Would you like to go to the 2012 Olympics in London?
  4. Do you think the Olympics are the world’s most important sporting event?
  5. What’s your favorite event at the Olympics?
  6. What can you remember from previous Olympics?
  7. Do you think Africa should get its first Olympic Games in 2016?
  8. Is London a better city to host the games than the other contenders – Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow?
  9. Do you think America gets the Games too often?
  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

OLYMPIC GAMES:

Imagine the 2012 Olympic Games will not be held in London but in your town or city or where you are currently studying. In pairs / groups, discuss and agree on the factors below:

FACTORS

  YOUR DECISIONS

 

The 2012 Games motto
 

 

Where will the Olympic village be?
 

 

What new sports will you introduce?
 

 

What infrastructure needs to be built?
 

 

What problems need to be overcome?
 

 

Other
 

 

After you have finished, change partners and show each other your plans. Give each other advice on how to improve your plans.

Return to your original partners and incorporate the advice you received into revising your original plans.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

London to host 2012 Olympics

London has been awarded the _____ __ ____the 2012 Olympic Games after the most closely contested fight to _____ the event in its history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime ___________, would get the victory it had expected. However, with the final round of voting ____ __ ____ cities, London managed to _____ its rival by 54 to 50 votes and ___ Paris to the finishing post. Following the announcement, crowds in London ________ ___ ______ and were showered with confetti. Meanwhile, expectant Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris win went home in ________ and stunned silence. The ____ from their planned celebrations had _____ ____.

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. ___ _________ managed to string together an impressive _____ __ ____ profile sporting and political figures to ___ ____ the International Olympic Committee members. A huge boost came ___ __ endorsement from Nelson Mandela. Other big names in the London _____ included Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Britain’s ___ ___-____ Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe. Prime Minister Tony Blair took time off from the G8 summit to make an ________-____ ____ to Singapore to add further weight to ___ ___ _______ in London’s favor. His whistle-stop visit ____ ___ dividends.

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 what to expect from London 2012. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. 2016: Make a poster outlining why your city or town should be awarded the Olympic Games in 2016. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Give a mini presentation and take a vote on the best city / town.

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the International Olympic Committee. Tell him what you think of the decision to award London the 2012 Olympics. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

host

stage

b.

contested

fought

c.

pip

beat

d.

euphoria

ecstasy

e.

subdued

crestfallen

f.

string together

amass

g.

array

lineup

h.

endorsement

backing

i.

eleventh hour

last minute

j.

whistle-stop campaigning

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

awarded

the right to…

b.

the longtime

frontrunner

c.

London managed to edge

its rival

d.

pip Paris

to the finishing post

e.

went home in subdued

and stunned silence

f.

string

together an impressive array

g.

an endorsement

from Nelson Mandela

h.

make an eleventh-hour

dash

i.

tip the balance

in London’s favor

j.

His whistle-stop visit

paid big dividends

GAP FILL:

London to host 2012 Olympics

London has been awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games after the most closely contested fight to stage the event in its history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime frontrunner, would get the victory it had expected. However, with the final round of voting down to two cities, London managed to edge its rival by 54 to 50 votes and pip Paris to the finishing post. Following the announcement, crowds in London erupted into euphoria and were showered with confetti. Meanwhile, expectant Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris win went home in subdued and stunned silence. The fizz from their planned celebrations had gone flat.

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. Bid organizers managed to string together an impressive array of high profile sporting and political figures to win over the International Olympic Committee members. A huge boost came via an endorsement from Nelson Mandela. Other big names in the London camp included Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Britain’s own two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe. Prime Minister Tony Blair took time off from the G8 summit to make an eleventh-hour dash to Singapore to add further weight to tip the balance in London’s favor. His whistle-stop visit paid big dividends.

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