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My 1,000
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Date: Aug 9, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

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

THE ARTICLE

Iran has restarted work on its uranium conversion program at the Isfahan nuclear plant. Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, confirmed the news on August 7. Work resumed soon after inspectors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog had finished installing surveillance cameras at Isfahan. The US and European Union may now impose sanctions against Tehran. On August 6, Tehran rejected a European plan of economic rewards in exchange for closer monitoring of the nuclear program.

This latest move will increase tensions between Iran and the West. Iran has continually told UN inspection teams that its nuclear plants are only for energy production. The US is sure that Iran has secret plans to develop nuclear weapons. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad promised to push full steam ahead with a nuclear program during his election campaign in June. Most Iranians believe in Iran’s right to possess the ability to produce nuclear power. They also want Iran to be a world leader in nuclear technology.

WARM-UPS

1. IRANIAN CITIZEN: You are a citizen of Iran. Walk around the classroom and talk with the other “citizens” of your country about the your country restarting its nuclear energy program. What does it mean for your country? Talk also about relations with the West.

2. THE WEST: Is the West always right? Is the West guilty of doing anything bad? In pairs / groups, talk about whether the West should try to make other countries and societies follow its thinking. Find three examples of the West being right and three examples of the West being wrong on these topics: the nuclear issue, human rights, democracy, free and fair trade, oil, terror, the axis of evil, and WMD.

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

Iran / uranium / nuclear plants / IAEA / President Ahmadinejad / Tehran / tensions / nuclear energy / steam / the West / technological development

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

4. TENSION: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “tension”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about how far you agree with the following opinions on Iran and its nuclear program:

  1. Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy.
  2. The US and Europe should believe Iran when it says it will not develop nuclear weapons.
  3. If Iran builds the bomb, it will start an arms race in the Middle East.
  4. The US is always hypocritical when it tells other countries not to develop nuclear arms.
  5. An Iran with the bomb could be the start of WWIII.
  6. Iran’s history and civilization are much longer than America’s. Trust Iran.
  7. Iran does not have a history of attacking other countries. Why be so suspicious of it?
  8. One day, dozens more countries will have nuclear weapons.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think it’s OK for Iran to continue its nuclear program. Students B think Iran is too dangerous to have nuclear technology. Change partners often.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Iran is continuing with its plan to develop nuclear missiles.

T / F

b.

UN inspectors fitted surveillance cameras at a nuclear plant in Iran.

T / F

c.

The US has accepted Iran’s nuclear program.

T / F

d.

China offered Iran economic rewards to stop its nuclear program.

T / F

e.

Tensions between Iran and the West have decreased.

T / F

f.

Iran’s President Ahmadinejad prefers steam power to nuclear power.

T / F

g.

The nuclear issue has united Iranian people.

T / F

h.

Iranians want Iran to be a world leader in nuclear technology.

T / F

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

a.

restarted

facility

b.

plant

accelerate

c.

watchdog

surveillance

d.

impose

constantly

e.

monitoring

act

f.

move

resumed

g.

continually

vowed

h.

promised

fix

i.

push full steam ahead

have

j.

possess

overseer

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

a.

uranium conversion

head

b.

deputy

in nuclear technology

c.

nuclear

of economic rewards

d.

surveillance

increase tensions

e.

Tehran rejected a European plan

cameras

f.

This latest move will

campaign

g.

its nuclear plants

program

h.

secret plans

are only for energy production

i.

election

watchdog

j.

a world leader

to develop nuclear weapons

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Iran resumes nuclear work

Iran has ________ work on its uranium conversion program at the Isfahan nuclear plant. Mohammad Saeedi, ________ head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, confirmed the ________ on August 7. Work resumed soon after ________ from the UN’s nuclear watchdog had finished ________ surveillance cameras at Isfahan. The US and European Union may now impose ________ against Tehran. On August 6, Tehran ________ a European plan of economic rewards in exchange for ________ monitoring of the nuclear program.

 

 

rejected
news
sanctions
restarted
closer
inspectors
deputy
installing

This latest move will increase ________ between Iran and the West. Iran has continually told UN inspection ________ that its nuclear plants are only for energy production. The US is ________ that Iran has secret plans to ________ nuclear weapons. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad promised to push full ________ ahead with a nuclear program during his election ________ in June. Most Iranians believe in Iran’s ________ to possess the ability to produce nuclear power. They also want Iran to be a world ________ in nuclear technology.

 

 

develop
right
teams
steam
leader
tensions
campaign
sure


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “IRAN” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about Iran.

  • 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:

  • conversion
  • confirmed
  • watchdog
  • surveillance
  • sanctions
  • monitoring
  • tensions
  • plants
  • secret
  • steam
  • right
  • leader

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you first read this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. Have you been following the news on Iran?
  4. Are you worried about Iran’s latest actions?
  5. What do you know about Iran?
  6. What do you know about Iran’s President Ahmadinejad?
  7. Would you like to go to Iran?
  8. Do you think the West understands Iran?
  9. Do you believe Iran when it says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only?
  10. How would the region or the world change if Iran had nuclear weapons?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Should Iran listen to the US and Europe?
  4. Iran’s neighbors, India and Pakistan, have nuclear weapons. What is wrong with Iran developing nuclear energy?
  5. Do you think there is the possibility of a knock-on effect, with Syria, Iraq and Egypt choosing to develop nuclear technology?
  6. Do you think America should invade Iran if nuclear weapons are found?
  7. Do you think economic sanctions against Iran would work?
  8. Do you think Iran deserves to be part of the “axis of evil”?
  9. How else can Iran meet its energy needs?
  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

ROLE PLAY: This role play is to discuss whether or not Iran should resume its nuclear program. Team up with classmates who have the same role as you. Develop your roles and discuss ideas and “strategies” before the role play begins.

Introduce yourself to the other role players.

Role A – US nuclear expert

You have top secret information and photographs that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. You have also heard Iran wants to sell nuclear technology to Iraq and Syria. You believe that if Iran has nuclear weapons, WWIII would come a step closer. You do not trust Iranians.
 

Role B – Iranian nuclear plant supervisor

You have worked at the highest levels at the Isfahan nuclear power plant. There are no plans for nuclear weapons. Iran needs energy. Iran has the right to create nuclear energy under international law. Iran has allowed UN surveillance cameras to monitor the nuclear plant. You think Americans are the biggest hypocrites on earth. They have, and have used, nuclear weapons.
 

Role C – Iranian citizen

Your country has a long and proud history. Your country is peaceful. It does not declare war on other countries. Iran needs energy to achieve high standards of living and become a fully developed country. You cannot trust Americans. They invaded Iraq because of WMD and nuclear programs that did not exist.
 

Role D – International peace activist

You are very upset. The world does not need another nuclear power. You want Iran to cooperate with Europe and America on building its nuclear power stations for energy uses. You are worried Iran will attack Israel or give nuclear technology to terrorist groups.
 

Change roles and repeat the role play. Comment in groups about the differences between the two role plays.

In pairs / groups, discuss whether you really believe in what you said while you were in your roles.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Iran resumes nuclear work

Iran has __________ work on its uranium conversion program at the Isfahan __________ plant. Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, confirmed the news on August 7. Work __________ soon after inspectors from the UN’s nuclear __________ had finished installing surveillance cameras at Isfahan. The US and European Union may now __________ sanctions against Tehran. On August 6, Tehran rejected a European plan of economic rewards in exchange for closer __________ of the nuclear program.

This latest move will increase __________ between Iran and the West. Iran has continually told UN inspection teams that its nuclear plants are only for __________ production. The US is sure that Iran has secret plans to __________ nuclear weapons. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad promised to push full __________ ahead with a nuclear program during his election campaign in June. Most Iranians believe in Iran’s right to __________ the ability to produce nuclear power. They also want Iran to be a world leader in nuclear __________.

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 Iran’s nuclear plans. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. THE WEST: Make a poster that describes five positive things and five negative things about the West. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all have similar ideas?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. Tell him what you think of his decision to resume the nuclear program in Iran. Tell him also about your fears for the world. Read your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

restarted

resumed

b.

plant

facility

c.

watchdog

overseer

d.

impose

fix

e.

monitoring

surveillance

f.

move

act

g.

continually

constantly

h.

promised

vowed

i.

push full steam ahead accelerate

j.

possess have

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

uranium conversion

program

b.

deputy

head

c.

nuclear

watchdog

d.

surveillance

cameras

e.

Tehran rejected a European plan

of economic rewards

f.

This latest move will

increase tensions

g.

its nuclear plants

are only for energy production

h.

secret plans

to develop nuclear weapons

i.

election

campaign

j.

a world leader

in nuclear technology

GAP FILL:

Iran resumes nuclear work

Iran has restarted work on its uranium conversion program at the Isfahan nuclear plant. Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, confirmed the news on August 7. Work resumed soon after inspectors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog had finished installing surveillance cameras at Isfahan. The US and European Union may now impose sanctions against Tehran. On August 6, Tehran rejected a European plan of economic rewards in exchange for closer monitoring of the nuclear program.

This latest move will increase tensions between Iran and the West. Iran has continually told UN inspection teams that its nuclear plants are only for energy production. The US is sure that Iran has secret plans to develop nuclear weapons. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad promised to push full steam ahead with a nuclear program during his election campaign in June. Most Iranians believe in Iran’s right to possess the ability to produce nuclear power. They also want Iran to be a world leader in nuclear technology.

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