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Date: May 21, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on South Africa and racism.

THE ARTICLE

Ethnic violence increasing in South Africa

Ethnic hatred has once again raised its ugly head in South Africa. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for migrant workers to attack. So far, 24 foreigners have been killed and as many as 10,000 have fled their homes. Violent mobs have burnt and looted any property that they find that belongs to exiles from Zimbabwe. The unfortunate Zimbabweans abandoned their own troubled country to find peace and prosperity in neighbouring South Africa. It seems they have become part of an ongoing nightmare. They were attacked in their homeland and are now in danger in their country of refuge. Police can barely keep control and battles in the streets have brought back terrible memories of the apartheid era. Church leaders have called the situation a “national disgrace”.


 
 

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has pleaded with his fellow South Africans to halt the violence: “These are our brothers and sisters. Please, please stop…The world is shocked and is going to laugh at us and mock us…Our children will condemn us in future,” he said. The violence is the worst seen in over a decade in South Africa. Poor, jobless South Africans are blaming foreigners for the country’s economic woes. They believe Zimbabweans working in South Africa are the reason why they are unemployed. President Thabo Mbeki has set up a committee to “analyze the problem". He called on those committing the crimes to stop. “Nothing can justify it,” he said. Police have arrested around 300 people, who will be charged with murder and assault.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. SOUTH AFRICA: Walk around the class and talk to other students about South Africa. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) 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.

 

ethnic hatred / gangs / migrant workers / looting / prosperity / nightmares / apartheid / violence / mocking people / economic woes / being unemployed / committees

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

3. VIOLENCE: Will violence among humans ever stop? With your partner(s), discuss what governments should do to stop the forms of violence below. Change partners and share your ideas. Who has the best ideas?

ethnic violence

domestic violence

gun violence

political violence

violence in schools

TV violence

4. NATIONAL DISGRACE: Are there things in your country that are a disgrace? Rank the items below: 10 = “a  true national disgrace;” 1 = “this is perfect in my country”. Compare your answers with your partner(s).

_____ racial equality

_____ honesty in politics

_____ health care system

_____ schools

_____ roads

_____ homelessness

_____ sexual equality

_____ unemployment

5. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

6. FOREIGNER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘foreigner’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

South African gangs are attacking workers from other countries.

T / F

b.

Around 10,000 people have run away from their homes.

T / F

c.

Many Zimbabweans are complaining of having bad dreams.

T / F

d.

Police have so far kept the situation totally under control.

T / F

e.

A Nobel Prize winner told South Africans to plead to stop the violence.

T / F

f.

Poor S. Africans think migrant workers have made the economy bad.

T / F

g.

S. Africa’s president has created a committee to look into the violence.

T / F

h.

About 300 people are waiting to be charged by police over the killings.

T / F

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

1.

ethnic

a.

stop

2

roaming

b.

problems

3.

fled

c.

wandering

4.

prosperity

d.

explain

5.

refuge

e.

success

6.

pleaded

f.

racial

7.

halt

g.

make fun of

8.

mock

h.

shelter

9.

woes

i.

run away from

10.

justify

j.

begged

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

1.

Ethnic hatred has once again raised

a.

fled their homes

2

Gangs are roaming

b.

up a committee

3.

as many as 10,000 have

c.

its ugly head

4.

to find peace and

d.

the violence

5.

they have become part of an

e.

and mock us

6.

halt

f.

prosperity

7.

laugh at us

g.

the streets

8.

blaming foreigners for the

h.

ongoing nightmare

9.

Thabo Mbeki has set

i.

murder and assault

10.

charged with

j.

country’s economic woes

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Ethnic __________ has once again raised its ugly head in South Africa. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for __________ workers to attack. So far, 24 foreigners have been killed and as many as 10,000 have fled their homes. Violent __________ have burnt and looted any property that they find that belongs to __________ from Zimbabwe. The unfortunate Zimbabweans abandoned their own __________ country to find peace and prosperity in neighbouring South Africa. It seems they have become part of an __________ nightmare. They were attacked in their homeland and are now in danger in their country of refuge. Police can __________ keep control and battles in the streets have brought back terrible memories of the apartheid era. Church leaders have called the situation a “national __________”.

 

ongoing
hatred
troubled
exiles
disgrace
migrant
barely
mobs

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has pleaded with his __________ South Africans to halt the violence: “These are our brothers and sisters. Please, please stop…The __________ is shocked and is going to laugh at us and mock us…Our children will __________ us in future,” he said. The violence is the worst seen in over a decade in South Africa. Poor, __________ South Africans are blaming foreigners for the country’s economic __________. They believe Zimbabweans working in South Africa are the reason why they are unemployed. President Thabo Mbeki has set up a committee to “__________ the problem". He called on those committing the crimes to stop. “Nothing can __________ it,” he said. Police have arrested around 300 people, who will be __________ with murder and assault.

 

analyze
 
woes
world
charged
jobless
fellow
justify
condemn

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Ethnic hatred _____________________ its ugly head in South Africa. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for migrant workers to attack. So far, 24 foreigners have been killed _____________________ 10,000 have fled their homes. Violent mobs have burnt and looted any property that they find that _____________________ Zimbabwe. The unfortunate Zimbabweans abandoned their own troubled country to find _____________________ in neighbouring South Africa. It seems they have become part of _____________________. They were attacked in their homeland and are now in danger in _____________________. Police can barely keep control and battles in the streets have _____________________ memories of the apartheid era. Church leaders have called the situation a “national disgrace”.

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu _____________________ fellow South Africans to halt the violence: “These are our brothers and sisters. Please, please stop…The world _____________________ to laugh at us and mock us…Our children will condemn us in future,” he said. The violence is the worst _____________________ in South Africa. Poor, jobless South Africans are blaming foreigners for the _____________________. They believe Zimbabweans working in South Africa are the reason why they are unemployed. President Thabo Mbeki has _____________________ “analyze the problem". He called on those committing the crimes to stop. “Nothing can justify it,” he said. Police have arrested around 300 people, who _____________________ murder and assault.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

ugly

head

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • raised
  • so far
  • belongs
  • nightmare
  • refuge
  • memories
  • fellow
  • mock
  • decade
  • woes
  • committee
  • 300

STUDENT GANGS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about gangs 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.

ETHNIC TENSION 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 term ‘ethnic hatred’?

c)

What ethnic tensions exist in your country?

d)

Do you ever see gangs roaming the streets of your town?

e)

How can one person burn the home of another person?

f)

Would you leave your country to find peace and prosperity?

g)

Have you ever lived through a personal nightmare?

h)

What do you know about the apartheid era in South Africa?

i)

What do you think will happen over the coming weeks in S. Africa?

j)

Is there any aspect of your country that you think is a national disgrace?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you know about Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu?

c)

Do you think his pleading will do any good?

d)

Do you think future generations will condemn the gangs?

e)

Is unemployment and poverty a big problem in your country?

f)

Do migrant workers add to a country’s economic woes or improve the economy?

g)

Do you think humans will ever stop being violent?

h)

What should President Thabo Mbeki do to halt the violence?

i)

What questions would you like to ask President Thabo Mbeki?

j)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

Ethnic hatred has once again raised its ugly (1) ____ in South Africa. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for migrant workers to attack. So far, 24 foreigners have been killed and as many as 10,000 have (2) ____ their homes. Violent mobs have burnt and looted any property that they find that belongs (3) ____ exiles from Zimbabwe. The unfortunate Zimbabweans abandoned their own (4) ____ country to find peace and prosperity in neighbouring South Africa. It seems they have become part of an (5) ____ nightmare. They were attacked in their homeland and are now in danger in their country of refuge. Police can barely keep control and battles in the streets have brought (6) ____ terrible memories of the apartheid era. Church leaders have called the situation a “national disgrace”.

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has pleaded (7) ____ his fellow South Africans to halt the violence: “These are our brothers and sisters. Please, please stop…The world is shocked and is going to laugh (8) ____ us and mock us…Our children will condemn us in future,” he said. The violence is the worst (9) ____ in over a decade in South Africa. Poor, jobless South Africans are blaming foreigners for the country’s economic woes. They believe Zimbabweans (10) ____ in South Africa are the reason why they are unemployed. President Thabo Mbeki has set up a committee to “analyze the problem". He called (11) ____ those committing the crimes to stop. “Nothing can justify it,” he said. Police have arrested around 300 people, who will be charged (12) ____ murder and assault.

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

1.

(a)

head

(b)

nose

(c)

mouth

(d)

eye

2.

(a)

fleeing

(b)

flea

(c)

fled

(d)

flee

3.

(a)

with

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

to

4.

(a)

trouble

(b)

troubled

(c)

troubles

(d)

trouble maker

5.

(a)

onlooking

(b)

on edge

(c)

oncoming

(d)

ongoing

6.

(a)

still

(b)

front

(c)

back

(d)

yet

7.

(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

at

(d)

so

8.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

with

(d)

because

9.

(a)

seen

(b)

seeing

(c)

see

(d)

saw

10.

(a)

worked

(b)

workers

(c)

working

(d)

works

11.

(a)

in

(b)

up

(c)

of

(d)

on

12.

(a)

for

(b)

with

(c)

all

(d)

on

WRITING: 

Write about  ethnic tensions  for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

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 about the situation in South Africa. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SOUTH AFRICA: Make a poster about South Africa’s recent history, from apartheid to today. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. NIGHTMARE: Write a magazine article about the nightmare many Zimbabwean exiles are living though. Include imaginary interviews with an exile and an angry jobless South African. Include questions about what to do to end the violence.

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. LETTER: Write a letter to South African President Thabo Mbeki. Ask him three questions about his country. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should do to end the violence. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a Zimbabwean exile in South Africa. Write your diary entry about one day in your life as an exile. Include your thoughts on your home country. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

ethnic

a.

racial

2

roaming

b.

wandering

3.

fled

c.

run away from

4.

prosperity

d.

success

5.

refuge

e.

shelter

6.

pleaded

f.

begged

7.

halt

g.

stop

8.

mock

h.

make fun of

9.

woes

i.

problems

10.

justify

j.

explain

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Ethnic hatred has once again raised

a.

its ugly head

2

Gangs are roaming

b.

the streets

3.

as many as 10,000 have

c.

fled their homes

4.

to find peace and

d.

prosperity

5.

they have become part of an

e.

ongoing nightmare

6.

halt

f.

the violence

7.

laugh at us

g.

and mock us

8.

blaming foreigners for the

h.

country’s economic woes

9.

Thabo Mbeki has set

i.

up a committee

10.

charged with

j.

murder and assault

GAP FILL:

Ethnic violence increasing in South Africa

Ethnic hatred has once again raised its ugly head in South Africa. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for migrant workers to attack. So far, 24 foreigners have been killed and as many as 10,000 have fled their homes. Violent mobs have burnt and looted any property that they find that belongs to exiles from Zimbabwe. The unfortunate Zimbabweans abandoned their own troubled country to find peace and prosperity in neighbouring South Africa. It seems they have become part of an ongoing nightmare. They were attacked in their homeland and are now in danger in their country of refuge. Police can barely keep control and battles in the streets have brought back terrible memories of the apartheid era. Church leaders have called the situation a “national disgrace”.

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has pleaded with his fellow South Africans to halt the violence: “These are our brothers and sisters. Please, please stop…The world is shocked and is going to laugh at us and mock us…Our children will condemn us in future,” he said. The violence is the worst seen in over a decade in South Africa. Poor, jobless South Africans are blaming foreigners for the country’s economic woes. They believe Zimbabweans working in South Africa are the reason why they are unemployed. President Thabo Mbeki has set up a committee to “analyze the problem". He called on those committing the crimes to stop. “Nothing can justify it,” he said. Police have arrested around 300 people, who will be charged with murder and assault.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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