The Reading / Listening - Gossip - Level 3

Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that divides communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division with his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his weekly blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about the dangers of gossiping, especially on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet trolls, saying: "If something goes wrong, offer silence and prayer for the brother or sister who make a mistake, but never gossip."



The Pope was making his first public audience since the pandemic started. His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel the terrorism of gossip". He urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Gossip - Level 0 Gossip - Level 1   or  Gossip - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-declares-gossiping-is-a-plague-worse-than-covid/
  • https://www.inforum.com/entertainment/television/6650375-Pope-says-gossiping-is-a-worse-plague-than-coronavirus
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/06/europe/pope-gossip-coronavirus-intl-scli/index.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. GOSSIP: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about gossip. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       gossiping / communities / the devil / division / blessing / plague / COVID-19 / trolls /
       audience / pandemic / speech / terrorism / urge / lethal / tongue / knife / busybodies
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. ILLEGAL: Students A strongly believe gossip should be made illegal; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. TOPICS: How "juicy" are these topics of gossip? How interested are you in them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How "Juicy"?

How Interested?

Celebrity news

 

 

Old school friends

 

 

The boss

 

 

Celebrities

 

 

In-laws

 

 

Relationships

 

 

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ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. DANGER: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "danger". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. GOSSIPING: Rank these with your partner. Put the worst things to gossip about at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • movie stars
  • neighbours
  • other students
  • the boss
  • teachers
  • best friends
  • a spouse
  • celebrities

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. communities a. The biggest evil spirit.
      2. devil b. Things people say that are not true.
      3. division c. Groups of people living in the same place.
      4. lies d. Happening at the same times each time.
      5. plague e. A disease that spreads rapidly and kills many people.
      6. regularly f. A chat with a god to ask for help or to say "thank you".
      7. prayer g. Disagreement between two or more groups, usually producing anger.

    Paragraph 2

      8. public h. Somebody who always wants to know everything about you.
      9. audience i. Say something as a comment; mention.
      10. pandemic j. The desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.
      11. remark k. About all people in a town or country.
      12. temptation l. All of the people at a public event, such as a play, movie, concert, or meeting.
      13. lethal m. Deadly; can kill you.
      14. busybody n. Of a disease prevalent over a whole country or the whole world.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Pope Francis said communities divide gossiping.     T / F
  2. Francis said the biggest gossiper was the devil.     T / F
  3. Francis advised people to listen to trolls on the Internet.     T / F
  4. The Pope suggested praying and being quiet if something goes wrong.     T / F
  5. The Pope made his first speech in public for many months.     T / F
  6. The Pope suggested gossip was a form of terrorism.     T / F
  7. Francis suggested biting one's tongue if there is an urge to gossip.     T / F
  8. Francis said the tongue is deadly and kills like a virus.     T / F

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

  1. danger
  2. divides
  3. plague
  4. advises
  5. silence
  6. speech
  7. remarks
  8. temptation
  9. subject
  10. busybodies
  1. comments
  2. pandemic
  3. topic
  4. talk
  5. risk
  6. mischief-makers
  7. quiet
  8. splits
  9. desire
  10. recommends

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

  1. He said gossip is a danger that divides
  2. Let's make a big
  3. The Pope has regularly spoken
  4. He advises people not to listen
  5. If something goes
  6. The Pope was making his first
  7. the first time he has made
  8. He urged people to
  9. Two years later he brought the subject
  10. Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers
  1. about the dangers
  2. up again
  3. public audience
  4. communities
  5. and busybodies
  6. to Internet trolls
  7. resist the temptation
  8. effort
  9. wrong
  10. strong remarks

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
trolls
prayer
divides
mistake
plague
create
regularly
weekly

Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that (1) _____________________ communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to (2) _____________________ division with his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his (3) _____________________ blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is a (4) _____________________ worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has (5) _____________________ spoken about the dangers of gossiping, especially on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet (6) _____________________, saying: "If something goes wrong, offer silence and (7) _____________________ for the brother or sister who make a (8) _____________________, but never gossip."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
terrorism
tongue
speech
bomb
busybodies
audience
subject
urge

The Pope was making his first public (9) _____________________ since the pandemic started. His latest (10) _____________________ on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel the (11) _____________________ of gossip". He urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get an (12) _____________________ to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip (13) _____________________, bite your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the (14) _____________________ up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the (15) _____________________ kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and (16) _____________________."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) He said gossip is a danger that ______
     a.  division communities
     b.  divide communities
     c.  dividers communities
     d.  divides communities
2)  the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division ______
     a.  with his lays
     b.  with his lies
     c.  with his lees
     d.  with his lines
3)  The Pope has regularly spoken about the dangers of gossiping, especially ______
     a.  on socially medium
     b.  on social media
     c.  in socials media
     d.  in social medium
4)  He advises people not to listen to ______
     a.  Internet trolls
     b.  Internet tools
     c.  Internet trails
     d.  Internet strolls
5)  If something goes wrong, offer ______
     a.  silent and prepare
     b.  silos end player
     c.  silence and prayer
     d.  sigh lance and prior

6)  The Pope was making his first public audience since the ______
     a.  pandemic start it
     b.  pandemic star tad
     c.  pandemic start tad
     d.  pandemic started
7)  His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made ______
     a.  strength remark
     b.  strongly remakes
     c.  strong remarks
     d.  storing remarks
8)  In 2016, he warned people not ______ terrorism
     a.  too few the
     b.  two few the
     c.  to fuel the
     d.  tooth fuel the
9)  urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, ______
     a.  bit your tong
     b.  bait your tang
     c.  bite your tongue
     d.  bitten your ton
10)  Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers ______
     a.  and business bees
     b.  and busy bodice
     c.  and busybodies
     d.  and bees' abodes

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Pope Francis has said (1) ____________________ than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that divides communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking (2) ____________________ with his lies. The Pope spoke (3) ____________________ of gossiping during his weekly blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is (4) ____________________ than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about (5) ____________________ gossiping, especially on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet trolls, saying: "If something goes wrong, (6) ____________________ prayer for the brother or sister who make a mistake, but never gossip."

The Pope was making his first (7) ____________________ the pandemic started. His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has (8) ____________________ on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel the terrorism of gossip". He (9) ____________________ resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get (10) ____________________ say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, (11) ____________________. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, (12) ____________________ ". A visitor to the Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies."

Comprehension questions

  1. What did Pope Francis say gossip divides?
  2. Who did Pope Francis say was the biggest gossiper?
  3. What kind of effort did the Pope ask people to make?
  4. Where did the Pope say gossip was particularly dangerous?
  5. What did the Pope say people should offer if something goes wrong?
  6. What caused the Pope to stop making his public audiences?
  7. What did the Pope say we should not fuel?
  8. What did the Pope say we should bite if we have an urge to gossip?
  9. What did the Pope say the tongue can kill like?
  10. What did a woman say gossips were besides scandalmongers?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What did Pope Francis say gossip divides?
a) communities
b) doctors
c) the world
d) religious leaders
2)  Who did Pope Francis say was the biggest gossiper?
a) his best friend
b) a man in Australia
c) the devil
d) a journalist
3)  What kind of effort did the Pope ask people to make?
a) a mighty effort
b) a good effort
c) a poor effort
d) a big effort
4)  Where did the Pope say gossip was particularly dangerous?
a) in churches
b) on social media
c) in restaurants
d) in schools
5)  What did the Pope say people should offer if something goes wrong?
a) prayer and silence
b) money
c) advice and help
d) bright ideas

6)  What caused the Pope to stop making his public audiences?
a) poor health
b) a lack of time
c) gossip
d) the pandemic
7)  What did the Pope say we should not fuel?
a) petrol cars
b) hate
c) the terrorism of gossip
d) log fires
8)  What did the Pope say we should bite if we have an urge to gossip?
a) a piece of meat
b) our tongue
c) our fingers
d) the dust
9)  What did the Pope say the tongue can kill like?
a) a virus
b) an assassin
c) a knife
d) the wind
10)  What did a woman say gossips were besides scandalmongers?
a) mischief-makers
b) busybodies
c) meddlers
d) troublemakers

Role play

Role  A – Neighbours
You think neighbours are the worst people to gossip about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why it isn't so bad to gossip about their people. Also, tell the others which is the most fun of these to gossip about (and why): other students, bosses or friends.

Role  B – Other Students
You think other students are the worst people to gossip about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why it isn't so bad to gossip about their people. Also, tell the others which is the most fun of these to gossip about (and why): neighbours, bosses or friends.

Role  C – Bosses
You think bosses are the worst people to gossip about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why it isn't so bad to gossip about their people. Also, tell the others which is the most fun of these to gossip about (and why): other students, neighbours or friends.

Role  D – Friends
You think friends are the worst people to gossip about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why it isn't so bad to gossip about their people. Also, tell the others which is the most fun of these to gossip about (and why): other students, bosses or neighbours.

After reading / listening

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

'gossip'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'danger'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • divides
    • create
    • weekly
    • big
    • trolls
    • mistake
    • first
    • topic
    • resist
    • bite
    • lethal
    • nothing




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Gossip

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'gossip'?
    3. What do you know about Pope Francis?
    4. What do you think of gossip?
    5. What do you think of people who gossip?
    6. How much of a gossip are you?
    7. Why might the Pope think gossip is worse than COVID-19?
    8. When was the last time someone gossiped about you?
    9. What do you think of people who gossip on social media?
    10. Is it better to pray than to gossip?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'COVID'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How do you feel if you are the subject of gossip?
    5. Do you like gossip about movie stars and celebrities?
    6. In what way might gossip be like terrorism?
    7. When was the last time you had to bite your tongue?
    8. Should gossip be made illegal?
    9. Who is the biggest busybody you know?
    10. What questions would you like to ask a huge gossip?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that (1) ____ communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division with his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his (2) ____ blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's (3) ____ to not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly (4) ____ about the dangers of gossiping, especially on social media. He (5) ____ people not to listen to Internet trolls, saying: "If something goes wrong, offer silence and prayer for the brother or sister who (6) ____ a mistake, but never gossip."

    The Pope was making his first public audience (7) ____ the pandemic started. His latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks (8) ____ the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel the terrorism of gossip". He urged people (9) ____ resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, (10) ____ your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject (11) ____ again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing (12) ____ scandalmongers and busybodies."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     divides     (b)     invades     (c)     imbibes     (d)     recedes    
    2. (a)     weeks     (b)     week     (c)     weekly     (d)     weaken    
    3. (a)     trail     (b)     trial     (c)     try     (d)     tire    
    4. (a)     speaks     (b)     spoke     (c)     speech     (d)     spoken    
    5. (a)     advice     (b)     advisory     (c)     advises     (d)     advise    
    6. (a)     do     (b)     make     (c)     be     (d)     speak    
    7. (a)     since     (b)     for     (c)     by     (d)     such    
    8. (a)     as     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     to    
    9. (a)     on     (b)     by     (c)     to     (d)     at    
    10. (a)     bites     (b)     bitten     (c)     bit     (d)     bite    
    11. (a)     off     (b)     down     (c)     on     (d)     up    
    12. (a)     however     (b)     by     (c)     as     (d)     but

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. a danger that divides mtesconuiim
    2. seeking to create oidvnsii
    3. during his klewye blessing at the Vatican
    4. Gossip is a uapgle worse than COVID
    5. not to listen to Internet torlsl
    6. offer silence and earpyr

    Paragraph 2

    1. The Pope was making his first public cunaeedi
    2. since the cnpemdia started
    3. fuel the rirmorset of gossip
    4. resist the tepoamtitn to spread gossip
    5. gossip is elthla because the tongue kills
    6. scandalmongers and uebysisobd

    Put the text back together

    (...)  in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican
    (...)  the terrorism of gossip". He urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get an
    (...)  on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet trolls, saying: "If something goes
    (...)  and sisters, let's try to not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big
    (...)  tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject up again. He told worshippers
    (...)  effort. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about the dangers of gossiping, especially
    (...)  The Pope was making his first public audience since the pandemic started. His latest speech
    (...)  his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his weekly blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers
    (...)  wrong, offer silence and prayer for the brother or sister who make a mistake, but never gossip."
    1  ) Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that divides
    (...)  communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to create division with
    (...)  agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies."
    (...)  urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your
    (...)  on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel

    Put the words in the right order

    1. lies   .   his   create   to   He's   with   seeking   division
    2. plague   Gossip   a   than   worse   COVID   .   is
    3. The   Pope   has   spoken   the   regularly   dangers   .   about
    4. He   trolls   .   people   to   advises   listen   not   to
    5. wrong,   If   prayer   .   goes   offer   silence   and   something
    6. public   since   started   .   first   the   audience   pandemic   His
    7. strong   made   has   The   he   time   remarks   .   first
    8. you   get   urge   an   say   something   .   If   to
    9. later   brought   up   .   Two   subject   the   years   he
    10. kills   .   is   tongue   Gossip   the   because   lethal

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Pope Francis has said gossiping is worse / worst than COVID-19. He said gossip is a danger that divides / multiplies communities. He added that the devil is the "biggest gossiper" who is seeking to creation / create division with his lies. The Pope spoke about the dangers of / at gossiping during his weekly blessing at the Vatican. He said: "Please brothers and sisters, let's try to no / not gossip. Gossip is a plague worse than COVID. Worse. Let's make a big effort / efforts. No gossiping." The Pope has regularly spoken about the dangers of gossiping, especially at / on social media. He advises people not to listen to Internet tolls / trolls, saying: "If something goes wrong, offer noise / silence and prayer for the brother or sister who do / make a mistake, but never gossip."

    The Pope was making / faking his first public audience since the pandemic started. His latest speak / speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks in / on the topic. In 2016, he warned people not to "fuel / full the terrorism of gossip". He urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip. He said: "If you get / do an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite / crunch your tongue. Hard." Two years later he brought the subject by / up again. He told worshippers in St Peter's Square that gossip is lethal "however / because the tongue kills, like a knife". A visitor to the Vatican agreement / agreed. She said: "Gossips are nothing so / but scandalmongers and busybodies."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    P_p_ F r_n c_s h_s s__ d g_s s_p_n g _s w_r s_ t h_n C O V I D - 1 9 . H_ s__ d g_s s_p _s _ d_n g_r t h_t d_v_d_s c_m m_n_t__ s . H_ _d d_d t h_t t h_ d_v_l _s t h_ " b_g g_s t g_s s_p_r " w h_ _s s__ k_n g t_ c r__ t_ d_v_s__ n w_t h h_s l__ s . T h_ P_p_ s p_k_ _b__ t t h_ d_n g_r s _f g_s s_p_n g d_r_n g h_s w__ k l y b l_s s_n g _t t h_ V_t_c_n . H_ s__ d : " P l__ s_ b r_t h_r s _n d s_s t_r s , l_t ' s t r y t_ n_t g_s s_p . G_s s_p _s _ p l_g__ w_r s_ t h_n C O V I D . W_r s_. L_t ' s m_k_ _ b_g _f f_r t . N_ g_s s_p_n g . " T h_ P_p_ h_s r_g_l_r l y s p_k_n _b__ t t h_ d_n g_r s _f g_s s_p_n g , _s p_c__ l l y _n s_c__ l m_d__ . H_ _d v_s_s p__ p l_ n_t t_ l_s t_n t_ I n t_r n_t t r_l l s , s_y_n g : " I f s_m_t h_n g g__ s w r_n g , _f f_r s_l_n c_ _n d p r_y_r f_r t h_ b r_t h_r _r s_s t_r w h_ m_k_ _ m_s t_k_, b_t n_v_r g_s s_p . "

    T h_ P_p_ w_s m_k_n g h_s f_r s t p_b l_c __ d__ n c_ s_n c_ t h_ p_n d_m_c s t_r t_d . H_s l_t_s t s p__ c h _n g_s s_p _s n_t t h_ f_r s t t_m_ h_ h_s m_d_ s t r_n g r_m_r k s _n t h_ t_p_c . I n 2 0 1 6 , h_ w_r n_d p__ p l_ n_t t_ " f__ l t h_ t_r r_r_s m _f g_s s_p " . H_ _r g_d p__ p l_ t_ r_s_s t t h_ t_m p t_t__ n t_ s p r__ d g_s s_p . H_ s__ d : " I f y__ g_t _n _r g_ t_ s_y s_m_t h_n g _g__ n s t _ b r_t h_r _r _ s_s t_r , t_ d r_p _ g_s s_p b_m b , b_t_ y__ r t_n g__ . H_r d . " T w_ y__ r s l_t_r h_ b r__ g h t t h_ s_b j_c t _p _g__ n . H_ t_l d w_r s h_p p_r s _n S t P_t_r ' s S q__ r_ t h_t g_s s_p _s l_t h_l " b_c__ s_ t h_ t_n g__ k_l l s , l_k_ _ k n_f_" . A v_s_t_r t_ t h_ V_t_c_n _g r__ d . S h_ s__ d : " G_s s_p s _r_ n_t h_n g b_t s c_n d_l m_n g_r s _n d b_s y b_d__ s . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    pope francis has said gossiping is worse than covid19 he said gossip is a danger that divides communities he added that the devil is the biggest gossiper who is seeking to create division with his lies the pope spoke about the dangers of gossiping during his weekly blessing at the vatican he said please brothers and sisters lets try to not gossip gossip is a plague worse than covid worse lets make a big effort no gossiping the pope has regularly spoken about the dangers of gossiping especially on social media he advises people not to listen to internet trolls saying if something goes wrong offer silence and prayer for the brother or sister who make a mistake but never gossip

    the pope was making his first public audience since the pandemic started his latest speech on gossip is not the first time he has made strong remarks on the topic in 2016 he warned people not to fuel the terrorism of gossip he urged people to resist the temptation to spread gossip he said if you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister to drop a gossip bomb bite your tongue hard two years later he brought the subject up again he told worshippers in st peters square that gossip is lethal because the tongue kills like a knife a visitor to the vatican agreed she said gossips are nothing but scandalmongers and busybodies

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    PopeFrancishassaidgossipingisworsethanCOVID-19.Hesaidgossipi
    sadangerthatdividescommunities.Headdedthatthedevilisthe"bigge
    stgossiper"whoisseekingtocreatedivisionwithhislies.ThePopespoke
    aboutthedangersofgossipingduringhisweeklyblessingattheVatican.
    Hesaid:"Pleasebrothersandsisters,let'strytonotgossip.Gossipisapla
    gueworsethanCOVID.Worse.Let'smakeabigeffort.Nogossiping."The
    Popehasregularlyspokenaboutthedangersofgossiping,especiallyons
    ocialmedia.HeadvisespeoplenottolistentoInternettrolls,saying:"Ifs
    omethinggoeswrong,offersilenceandprayerforthebrotherorsisterwh
    omakeamistake,butnevergossip."ThePopewasmakinghisfirstpublic
    audiencesincethepandemicstarted.Hislatestspeechongossipisnotth
    efirsttimehehasmadestrongremarksonthetopic.In2016,hewarnedp
    eoplenotto"fueltheterrorismofgossip".Heurgedpeopletoresistthete
    mptationtospreadgossip.Hesaid:"Ifyougetanurgetosaysomethinga
    gainstabrotherorasister,todropagossipbomb,biteyourtongue.Hard.
    "Twoyearslaterhebroughtthesubjectupagain.HetoldworshippersinS
    tPeter'sSquarethatgossipislethal"becausethetonguekills,likeaknife"
    .AvisitortotheVaticanagreed.Shesaid:"Gossipsarenothingbutscand
    almongersandbusybodies."

    Free writing

    Write about gossip for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Gossip is lethal "because the tongue kills, like a knife".  Discuss.

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    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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. GOSSIP: Make a poster about gossip. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. ILLEGAL: Write a magazine article about making gossip illegal. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on gossip. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to stop gossip. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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