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Deaf Anger at Congo Ban on Texting (15th December, 2011)


 

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are angry at a week-long ban on texting. The Congolese government issued the ban over a week ago following the country’s national elections. Violence erupted after voters believed the election was rigged, so the returned president Joseph Kabila banned SMS messages to restore public order to the streets. This is very bad news for the 1.4 million deaf people in the country who rely on texting as a major means of communication. Deaf people in the capital Kinshasa say the ban represents a threat to their lives as they cannot receive warnings on violence in the city. Four people were killed in Kinshasa following the announcement of the election results.

BBC News reporter Thomas Hubert says Congo’s Interior Minister Adolphe Lumanu had been “forced to suspend all…text messaging services to preserve public order" as they were being used to "incite ethnic hatred, insurrection and xenophobia". Mr Hubert reports that: “The measure means deaf Congolese people have been condemned to indefinite isolation.” Pastor Kisangala, the deaf community's religious minister in Kinshasa, told Mr Hubert about how serious the situation was: “We're finding it very hard to communicate. All our communications used to go through SMS messages. Our members are scattered across the city, some are ill in hospital, others are dying. Without communication we don't even know about it," he said.


 

WARM-UPS

1. TEXTING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about texting. Change partners often. Sit with your first 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.

 

deaf people / texting / national elections / public order / rely / communication / warnings / ethnic hatred / isolation / communications / serious situations / hospitals

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

3. BAN: How would these bans affect you? Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

Ban on…

How much it would affect you

Why?

texting

 

 

driving

 

 

movies and TV

 

 

alcohol

 

 

gaming

 

 

public meetings

 

 

4. SMS: Students A strongly believe SMS will be the main way of communicating in ten years; Students B strongly believe it won’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. COMMUNICATE: What? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • SMS
  • e-mail
  • chat
  • writing letters
  • phone call
  • face-to-face
  • fax
  • telegram

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Deaf people in the Congo are angry the government has banned SMS.

T / F

b.

The ban started after the country’s national election.

T / F

c.

The president banned texting to stop spying in the country.

T / F

d.

The ban on texting endangers the lives of deaf people.

T / F

e.

A government spokesperson said the ban would last another week.

T / F

f.

The Congolese government said they would give SMS to deaf people.

T / F

g.

A spokesperson for the deaf said he hed other ways to communicate.

T / F

h.

Deaf people are now unaware that people in hospitals are dying.

T / F

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

1.

angry

a.

broke out

2

ban

b.

sick

3.

erupted

c.

depend

4.

rely

d.

postpone

5.

following

e.

furious

6.

suspend

f.

maintain

7.

preserve

g.

fuel

8.

incite

h.

prohibition

9.

scattered

i.

after

10.

ill

j.

spread

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

angry at a week-long

a.

deaf people

2

voters believed the election

b.

hatred

3.

very bad news for the 1.4 million

c.

the election results

4.

the ban represents a threat

d.

messaging services

5.

following the announcement of

e.

was rigged

6.

forced to suspend all text

f.

across the city

7.

preserve public

g.

ban on texting

8.

incite ethnic

h.

to communicate

9.

We're finding it very hard

i.

to their lives

10.

Our members are scattered

j.

order

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are               (1) ____________ at a week-long ban on texting. The Congolese government issued the ban over a week ago (2) ____________ the country’s national elections. Violence erupted after voters believed the election was (3) ____________, so the returned president Joseph Kabila banned SMS messages to restore        (4) ____________ order to the streets. This is very bad news for the 1.4 million deaf people in the country who (5) ____________ on texting as a major means of communication. Deaf people in the capital Kinshasa say the ban represents a (6) ____________ to their lives as they cannot receive warnings on                     (7) ____________ in the city. Four people were killed in Kinshasa following the announcement of the election               (8) ____________.

 

 

 

rely
rigged
results
angry
threat
violence
following
public

BBC News reporter Thomas Hubert says Congo’s Interior Minister Adolphe Lumanu had been “forced to (9) ____________ all…text messaging services to preserve public order" as they were being used to "incite ethnic (10) ____________, insurrection and xenophobia". Mr Hubert reports that: “The measure               (11) ____________ deaf Congolese people have been condemned to indefinite (12) ____________.” Pastor Kisangala, the deaf community's religious minister in Kinshasa, told Mr Hubert about how (13) ____________ the situation was: “We're finding it very hard to (14) ____________. All our communications used to go through SMS messages. Our members are (15) ____________ across the city, some are ill in hospital, others are (16) ____________. Without communication we don't even know about it," he said.

 

 

serious
hatred
scattered
isolation
dying
suspend
means
communicate

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are __________________ ban on texting. The Congolese government __________________ over a week ago following the country’s national elections. Violence __________________ believed the __________________, so the returned president Joseph Kabila banned SMS messages to restore public order to the streets. This is very bad news for the 1.4 million deaf people in the country __________________ as a major means of communication. Deaf people in the capital Kinshasa say the ban __________________ to their lives as they cannot receive warnings on violence in the city. Four people were killed in Kinshasa following the announcement of the election results.

BBC News reporter Thomas Hubert says Congo’s Interior Minister Adolphe Lumanu had been “__________________ all…text messaging services to preserve public order" as they were being used to "__________________, insurrection and xenophobia". Mr Hubert reports that: “The measure means deaf Congolese people have been condemned __________________.” Pastor Kisangala, the deaf community's religious minister in Kinshasa, told Mr Hubert about how ____________________ was: “We're finding it very hard to communicate. All our communications used to go ___________________. Our members are ___________________ city, some are ill in hospital, others are dying. Without communication we don't even know about it," he said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

deaf

people

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • angry
  • voters
  • news
  • capital
  • threat
  • results
  • suspend
  • ethnic
  • isolation
  • serious
  • scattered
  • dying

STUDENT TEXTING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about texting 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.

TEXTING 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 word ‘deaf’?

c)

What do you think about this news?

d)

How would a texting ban affect your life?

e)

Was communication better before texting came along?

f)

Do you prefer texting, e-mail or writing letters?

g)

Is the Congo government wrong to ban texting in the country?

h)

How much do you rely on texting?

i)

Is texting changing your language?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How would you communicate without a mobile phone?

c)

What advice would you give to Congo’s deaf?

d)

Is banning texting a useful tool for governments?

e)

What can the international community do for Congo’s deaf people?

f)

Should the world provide a special satellite so people can always text, even if their country bans messaging?

g)

Have you done much texting recently?

h)

What do you think texting will be like 50 years from now?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Congo’s president Joseph Kabila?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are angry at a week-long ban    (1) ____ texting. The Congolese government issued the ban over a week ago      (2) ____ the country’s national elections. Violence erupted after voters believed the election was (3) ____, so the returned president Joseph Kabila banned SMS messages to restore public order to the streets. This is very bad news for the 1.4 million deaf people in the country who rely (4) ____ texting as a major means of communication. Deaf people in the capital Kinshasa say the ban represents a      (5) ____ to their lives as they cannot receive warnings on violence in the city. Four people were killed in Kinshasa following the announcement (6) ____ the election results.

BBC News reporter Thomas Hubert says Congo’s Interior Minister Adolphe Lumanu had been “(7) ____ to suspend all…text messaging services to preserve public order" as they were being used to "(8) ____ ethnic hatred, insurrection and xenophobia". Mr Hubert reports that: “The measure means deaf Congolese people have been condemned to indefinite (9) ____.” Pastor Kisangala, the deaf community's religious minister in Kinshasa, told Mr Hubert about how (10) ____ the situation was: “We're finding it very hard to communicate. All our communications used to go through SMS messages. Our members are (11) ____ across the city, some are ill in hospital, (12) ____ are dying. Without communication we don't even know about it," he said.

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

1.

(a)

of

(b)

at

(c)

by

(d)

on

2.

(a)

follows

(b)

followed

(c)

following

(d)

followers

3.

(a)

rugged

(b)

rigged

(c)

ragged

(d)

raged

4.

(a)

on

(b)

at

(c)

by

(d)

of

5.

(a)

treat

(b)

threaten

(c)

threat

(d)

treaty

6.

(a)

by

(b)

to

(c)

as

(d)

of

7.

(a)

faced

(b)

forced

(c)

placed

(d)

appeased

8.

(a)

incite

(b)

grate

(c)

robust

(d)

current

9.

(a)

isolating

(b)

isolation

(c)

isolated

(d)

isolate

10.

(a)

sever

(b)

several

(c)

serious

(d)

series

11.

(a)

scattered

(b)

splattered

(c)

smattered

(d)

shattered

12.

(a)

other

(b)

the other

(c)

another

(d)

others


 
 

WRITING

Write about texting 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 more about texting. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TEXTING: Make a poster about texting. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. DEAF PEOPLE: Write a magazine article about the deaf people in Congo. Include imaginary interviews with one deaf person and a government minister responsible for the ban.

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 Congo president Joseph Kabila. Ask him three questions about the texting ban. Give him three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

angry

a.

furious

2

ban

b.

prohibition

3.

erupted

c.

broke out

4.

rely

d.

depend

5.

following

e.

after

6.

suspend

f.

postpone

7.

preserve

g.

maintain

8.

incite

h.

fuel

9.

scattered

i.

spread

10.

ill

j.

sick

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

angry at a week-long

a.

ban on texting

2

voters believed the election

b.

was rigged

3.

very bad news for the 1.4 million

c.

deaf people

4.

the ban represents a threat

d.

to their lives

5.

following the announcement of

e.

the election results

6.

forced to suspend all text

f.

messaging services

7.

preserve public

g.

order

8.

incite ethnic

h.

hatred

9.

We're finding it very hard

i.

to communicate

10.

Our members are scattered

j.

across the city

GAP FILL:

Deaf anger at Congo ban on texting

Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are (1) angry at a week-long ban on texting. The Congolese government issued the ban over a week ago (2) following the country’s national elections. Violence erupted after voters believed the election was (3) rigged, so the returned president Joseph Kabila banned SMS messages to restore (4) public order to the streets. This is very bad news for the 1.4 million deaf people in the country who (5) rely on texting as a major means of communication. Deaf people in the capital Kinshasa say the ban represents a (6) threat to their lives as they cannot receive warnings on (7) violence in the city. Four people were killed in Kinshasa following the announcement of the election (8) results.

BBC News reporter Thomas Hubert says Congo’s Interior Minister Adolphe Lumanu had been “forced to (9) suspend all…text messaging services to preserve public order" as they were being used to "incite ethnic (10) hatred, insurrection and xenophobia". Mr Hubert reports that: “The measure (11) means deaf Congolese people have been condemned to indefinite (12) isolation.” Pastor Kisangala, the deaf community's religious minister in Kinshasa, told Mr Hubert about how (13) serious the situation was: “We're finding it very hard to (14) communicate. All our communications used to go through SMS messages. Our members are (15) scattered across the city, some are ill in hospital, others are (16) dying. Without communication we don't even know about it," he said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 -c

11 - a

12 - d

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