My 1,000
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My 1,000
Ideas
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Date: Oct 27, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:32 - 180.6 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi will soon pass a law that allows a woman to become emperor. The decision is because a male royal baby has not been born in Japan since 1965. Changes to the laws will allow the children of a female emperor to be heirs to the throne. The law will also guarantee that an emperor's first-born child will be first in line to the throne, regardless of its sex. This historic decision follows ten months of high level talks and discussions. It means three-year old Princess Aiko may one day reign over the world’s oldest monarchy.

Opponents of the proposals have already voiced their concerns. Many strongly disagree with the idea that a woman can be emperor. They believe God wants men only to be head of the royal family. They argue that a male emperor is an essential and sacred part of Japanese history and culture. They also want the return of former imperial family members who left royal life after World War II. These relatives could make sure a male becomes emperor. The public strongly supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported that 84 percent of Japanese back the changes.

WARM-UPS

1. ROYAL ME: You are now a member of one of the world’s royal families. Walk around the class and talk to the other “royals” about your everyday life. Is it a good life? Are you jealous of any other royals, for example, those in Britain, Denmark, Japan, Swaziland, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Bhutan, Thailand…? What do you think of the royals on other countries? Do you have any stories about them?

2. ROYAL TITLES: Match the royal title with the countries/country. After you have finished, talk about what you know about the monarchies.

a.    Emir

1. UK, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Holland, Morocco, Nepal, Spain, Swaziland, Thailand…

b.    Emperor / Empress

2. Oman, Malaysia, Brunei, parts of Indonesia

c.     King / Queen

3. Qatar, Kuwait

d.    Sultan

4. Liechtenstein, Monaco

e.    Prince

5. Japan

f.     Grand Duke

6. Bhutan

g.    Druk Gyalpo

7. Samoa

h.    Chief

8. Luxembourg

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

Japan / Junichiro Koizumi / emperors / females / royal babies / first-born children / tradition / history / culture / rituals

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

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

5. TWO-MINUTE DEBATES: Debate each of the arguments below with a partner for just two minutes, before moving on to the next partner and debate. Student A agrees with the first argument, Student B, the second.

  1. Japan should have a female emperor. vs. Japan should have a male emperor.
  2. All monarchies should disappear. vs. Monarchies are valuable. They should stay.
  3. Monarchs should work in real jobs. vs. Monarchs are important and should get money from taxpayers.
  4. Monarchs should ride bicycles in the town, like they do in Scandanavian countries. vs. No. Way too dangerous.
  5. Every country should have its own monarchy. vs. Monarchies are useless.
  6. Monarchs should sell their possessions for charity. vs. They can’t do that forever.
  7. There should be a world monarchy. vs. How ridiculous.
  8. People should vote for their monarch. vs. Monarchies are too special to vote for.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Japan will give a foreign empress a visa so she can live in Japan.

T / F

b.

Japan is changing its laws about who can become emperor.

T / F

c.

Laws will make first-born sons and not older sisters heir to the throne.

T / F

d.

A Japanese princess called Aiko will be the world’s oldest monarch.

T / F

e.

Opponents say God decided the emperor can only be a man.

T / F

f.

Opponents would prefer a foreign prince to a Japanese woman.

T / F

g.

A male emperor is an essential and sacred part of Japanese history.

T / F

h.

The Japanese public opposes Mr. Koizumi’s new changes.

T / F

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

a.

allows

recommendations

b.

woman

ex

c.

children

reign

d.

sex

permits

e.

rule

say

f.

proposals

gender

g.

argue

female

h.

essential

support

i.

former

offspring

j.

back

necessary

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

a.

pass

decision

b.

a male royal baby has not been

oldest monarchy

c.

…first-born child will be first in

supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans

d.

historic

already voiced their concerns

e.

reign over the world’s

Japanese history and culture

f.

Opponents of the proposals have

born in Japan since 1965

g.

an essential and sacred part of

back the changes

h.

the return of former

a law

i.

The public strongly

imperial family members

j.

84 percent of Japanese

line to the throne


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

Japan close to allowing female emperor

Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi will ________ pass a law that allows a woman to become emperor. The ________ is because a male royal baby has not been born in Japan ________ 1965. Changes to the laws will allow the children of a female emperor to be heirs to the ________. The law will also ________ that an emperor's first-born child will be first in ________ to the throne, regardless of its ________. This historic decision follows ten months of ________ level talks and discussions. It means three-year old Princess Aiko may one day reign over the world’s oldest monarchy.

 

 

guarantee
decision
throne
high
soon
sex
since
line

Opponents of the ________ have already voiced their concerns. Many ________ disagree with the idea that a woman can be emperor. They believe God wants men only to be ________ of the royal family. They ________ that a male emperor is an essential and ________ part of Japanese history and culture. They also want the return of ________ imperial family members who left royal life after World War II. These ________ could make sure a male becomes emperor. The public strongly supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported that 84 percent of Japanese ________ the changes.

 

 

head
relatives
strongly
back
sacred
proposals
argue
former

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Japan close to allowing female emperor

Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi will soon _____ __ _____ that allows a woman to become emperor. The decision is because a _____ royal baby has not been born in Japan since 1965. Changes to the laws will _____ the children of a female emperor to be _____ to the throne. The law will also guarantee that an emperor's first-born child will be first in _____ to the throne, regardless of its sex. This _________ decision follows ten months of high level talks and discussions. It means three-year old Princess Aiko may one day _________ over the world’s oldest monarchy.

Opponents of the proposals have already _________ their concerns. Many strongly disagree with the idea that a woman can be emperor. They believe God wants men only to be _________ of the royal family. They argue that a male emperor is an _________ and sacred part of Japanese history and culture. They also want the return of _________ imperial family members who left royal life after World War II. These _________ could make sure a male becomes emperor. The public _________ supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported that 84 percent of Japanese _________ the changes.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “MONARCHY” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about monarchies.

  • 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:

  • soon
  • born
  • heirs
  • in line
  • historic
  • reign
  • voiced
  • God
  • sacred
  • imperial
  • public
  • back

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Do you think a woman should be allowed to become emperor?
  3. What do you think of Japan forgetting centuries of tradition?
  4. What do you know about Japan’s royal family?
  5. Do you think the new law is a big change for Japan?
  6. Do you think it is important to keep the bloodline in a royal family?
  7. What do you think of the idea that God decided a male should be emperor?
  8. What questions would you like to ask a monarch?
  9. What do you think the monarch’s answers would be?
  10. Are women forbidden from doing things in your country that men can do?

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. Do you like the idea of having a monarchy?
  4. What is the role of a monarch in today’s world?
  5. Do you think it makes a big difference if the monarch is a man or a woman?
  6. How are countries with monarchies different from those without emperors, queens and sultans?
  7. Do you think former members of Japan’s royal family should be allowed to return and provide a male heir?
  8. Are there any male-only rituals or ceremonies in your country?
  9. Would you like to be a monarch?
  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?

 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 Japan’s royal family. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. WORLD ROYALS: Make a poster describing one of the world’s royal families. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Who found out the most interesting things?

4. DIARY/JOURNAL: You are a member of a royal family. Write your diary/journal entry for one day in your life. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

ROYAL TITLES:

a   3

b   5

c   1

d   2

e   4

f   8

g   6

h   7

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

allows

permits

b.

woman

female

c.

children

offspring

d.

sex

gender

e.

rule

reign

f.

proposals

recommendations

g.

argue

say

h.

essential

necessary

i.

former

ex

j.

back

support

PHRASE MATCH:
 

a.

pass

a law

b.

a male royal baby has not been

born in Japan since 1965

c.

…first-born child will be first in

line to the throne

d.

historic

decision

e.

reign over the world’s

oldest monarchy

f.

Opponents of the proposals have

already voiced their concerns

g.

an essential and sacred part of

Japanese history and culture

h.

the return of former

imperial family members

i.

The public strongly

back the changes

j.

84 percent of Japanese

supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans

GAP FILL:

Japan close to allowing female emperor

Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi will soon pass a law that allows a woman to become emperor. The decision is because a male royal baby has not been born in Japan since 1965. Changes to the laws will allow the children of a female emperor to be heirs to the throne. The law will also guarantee that an emperor's first-born child will be first in line to the throne, regardless of its sex. This historic decision follows ten months of high level talks and discussions. It means three-year old Princess Aiko may one day reign over the world’s oldest monarchy.

Opponents of the proposals have already voiced their concerns. Many strongly disagree with the idea that a woman can be emperor. They believe God wants men only to be head of the royal family. They argue that a male emperor is an essential and sacred part of Japanese history and culture. They also want the return of former imperial family members who left royal life after World War II. These relatives could make sure a male becomes emperor. The public strongly supports Mr. Koizumi’s plans. The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported that 84 percent of Japanese back the changes.

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