The Reading / Listening - Cuba - Level 6

The government in Cuba is legalising the ownership of small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a monumental shift in policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have traditionally been the norm in Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them into state hands. The new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees. The change of heart from the government came after a month of street protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against dire economic conditions. People also protested about a lack of food and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce new initiatives to revitalise his country's economy. Cuba relies on tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves. Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have severely impacted this sector. Another key industry in Cuba is the production of sugar. Bad weather has resulted in poor harvests and reduced revenues. These events have depleted the government's reserves of foreign currency, which means it has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine. Cuba expert O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent years striving, working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's economic well-being.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Cuba - Level 4  or  Cuba - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-58132000
  • https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210807-cuba-legalizes-small-and-medium-enterprises-in-boost-for-private-sector
  • https://thedailyguardian.net/cuba-legalizes-small-and-medium-sized-businesses/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Warm-ups

1. CUBA: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about Cuba. 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?
       government / ownership / businesses / policy / the norm / revolution / heart / food /
       initiative / economy / tourism / pandemic / sugar / revenue / medicine / well-being

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. STATE-RUN: Students A strongly believe state-run companies are best for a country; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. BUSINESSES: What would the pros and cons be of owning these businesses? How good would you be as boss? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Pros

Cons

Me as Boss

Farmer

 

 

 

Bookshop

 

 

 

Party goods

 

 

 

Photographer

 

 

 

Coder

 

 

 

English tutor

 

 

 

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

5. COMMUNIST: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "communist". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. PROTESTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the things you would protest in the streets about at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  •      increasing taxes
  •       corruption
  •       inequality
  •       austerity climate change
  •       nuclear war
  •       rising prices
  • coronavirus

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. legalising a. Great in importance, extent, or size.
      2. monumental b. A nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government.
      3. the norm c. Making something lawful to do.
      4. state d. Extremely serious or urgent.
      5. entrepreneur e. A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
      6. dire f. Managing a situation or problem.
      7. handling g. Something that is usual, typical, or standard.

    Paragraph 2

      8. initiative h. Making great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
      9. revitalise i. The limitation or control of someone or something.
      10. reserves j. The process or period of gathering in crops.
      11. restriction k. An act or strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation; a fresh approach to something.
      12. harvest l. Give something new life.
      13. expert m. A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
      14. striving n. A supply of something not needed for immediate use but available if required.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. Entrepreneurs can now start any size of company in Cuba.     T / F
  2. There was a revolution in Cuba in 1959.     T / F
  3. Street protests prompted a change of heart from the government.     T / F
  4. People protested in the streets about food shortages.     T / F
  5. Cuba's president said there would be no further initiatives after this one. T / F
  6. Cuba had a bumper sugar harvest this year.     T / F
  7. Bad weather has helped to reduce Cuba's foreign currency reserves.     T / F
  8. Entrepreneurs have worked to help Cuba's economic well-being.     T / F

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

  1. monumental
  2. norm
  3. operate
  4. protested
  5. handling
  6. initiatives
  7. severely
  8. depleted
  9. entrepreneur
  10. contribute
  1. plans
  2. managing
  3. play a part
  4. used up
  5. gigantic
  6. run
  7. business person
  8. demonstrated
  9. seriously
  10. standard

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

  1. This represents a monumental shift
  2. State-owned companies have traditionally
  3. The change of
  4. of Cubans demonstrated against dire
  5. People also protested about a
  6. introduce new initiatives to revitalise
  7. severely impacted this
  8. depleted the government's reserves
  9. difficult for the country to import
  10. many entrepreneurs from
  1. been the norm
  2. the private sector
  3. economic conditions
  4. his country's economy
  5. in policy
  6. of foreign currency
  7. food and medicine
  8. lack of food
  9. sector
  10. heart from the government

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
monumental
hands
street
norm
handling
ownership
dire
heart

The government in Cuba is legalising the (1) _____________________ of small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a (2) _____________________ shift in policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have traditionally been the (3) _____________________ in Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them into state (4) _____________________. The new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees. The change of (5) _____________________ from the government came after a month of (6) _____________________ protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against (7) _____________________ economic conditions. People also protested about a lack of food and the (8) _____________________ of the coronavirus pandemic.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
key
import
relies
being
severely
initiatives
striving
depleted

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce new (9) _____________________ to revitalise his country's economy. Cuba (10) _____________________ on tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves. Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have (11) _____________________ impacted this sector. Another (12) _____________________ industry in Cuba is the production of sugar. Bad weather has resulted in poor harvests and reduced revenues. These events have (13) _____________________ the government's reserves of foreign currency, which means it has become difficult for the country to (14) _____________________ food and medicine. Cuba expert O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent years (15) _____________________, working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's economic well-(16) _____________________.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The government in Cuba is legalising the ownership of small and ______
     a.  medium-sizes businesses
     b.  medium-sizes business
     c.  medium-sized businesses
     d.  medium-sized business is
2)  This represents a monumental ______
     a.  shaft in policy
     b.  shifter policy
     c.  shift in policy
     d.  sift on policy
3)  He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them ______
     a.  unto state hands
     b.  in to state hands
     c.  in two state hands
     d.  into state hands
4)  Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against ______
     a.  dire economic conditions
     b.  dirt economic conditions
     c.  drier economic conditions
     d.  dour economic conditions
5)  People also protested about a lack of food and the ______ coronavirus
     a.  handling off the
     b.  handling on the
     c.  handling oft the
     d.  handling of the

6)  introduce new initiatives to ______ economy
     a.  revitalise his country's
     b.  rev italicise his country's
     c.  rivet allies his country's
     d.  leave italicise his country's
7)  Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have severely ______
     a.  impacted this sector
     b.  compacted this sector
     c.  in pact it this sector
     d.  imp acted this sector
8)  in Cuba is the production of sugar. Bad weather has resulted ______
     a.  impure harvests
     b.  in pour harvests
     c.  in poor harvests
     d.  in pore harvests
9)  Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have ______
     a.  spent years starving
     b.  spent years striven
     c.  spent years striving
     d.  spent years staving
10)  working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's ______
     a.  economic nice-being
     b.  economics well-being
     c.  economics nice-being
     d.  economic well-being

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The government in Cuba is legalising (1) ____________________ small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a (2) ____________________ policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have traditionally been (3) ____________________ Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them (4) ____________________. The new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees. The (5) ____________________ from the government came after a month of street protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against dire economic conditions. People also protested about a (6) ____________________ and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce (7) ____________________ revitalise his country's economy. Cuba relies on tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves. Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic (8) ____________________ this sector. Another key industry in Cuba is the production of sugar. Bad weather has resulted (9) ____________________ and reduced revenues. These events have depleted the government's reserves of foreign currency, (10) ____________________ has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine. Cuba expert O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have (11) ____________________, working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's (12) ____________________.

Comprehension questions

  1. What kinds of businesses can people now start in Cuba?
  2. When was there a revolution in Cuba?
  3. What did Fidel Castro do to Cuba's industries?
  4. What did Cuba's government have a change of?
  5. What did people protest about besides the handling of coronavirus?
  6. What new things did Cuba's president say he would introduce?
  7. What does Cuba rely on for foreign currency reserves?
  8. What did bad weather result in besides reduced revenues?
  9. What is Cuba finding it difficult to import?
  10. What have entrepreneurs spent years contributing to?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What kinds of businesses can people now start in Cuba?
a) start-ups
b) online companies
c) small and medium-sized businesses
d) profit-making companies
2) When was there a revolution in Cuba?
a) 1959
b) 1958
c) 1969
d) 1968
3) What did Fidel Castro do to Cuba's industries?
a) he thanked them
b) he rebuilt them
c) he modernised them
d) he nationalised them
4) What did Cuba's government have a change of?
a) leadership
b) heart
c) mind
d) politics
5) What did people protest about besides the handling of coronavirus?
a) a lack of jobs
b) the climate crisis
c) a lack of food
d) gas prices

6) What new things did Cuba's president say he would introduce?
a) schools
b) initiatives
c) wifi access points
d) climate measures
7) What does Cuba rely on for foreign currency reserves?
a) dollars
b) banks
c) light manufacturing
d) tourism and sugar
8) What did bad weather result in besides reduced revenues?
a) floods
b) poor harvests
c) drought
d) disease
9) What is Cuba finding it difficult to import?
a) food and medicine
b) pesticides and chocolate
c) car parts
d) computers
10) What have entrepreneurs spent years contributing to?
a) the debate
b) GDP
c) an ideas forum
d) Cuba's economic well-being

Role play

Role  A – Increasing Taxes
You think increasing taxes is the worthiest thing to protest about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least worthy of these (and why): corruption, nuclear war or rising prices.

Role  B – Corruption
You think corruption is the worthiest thing to protest about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least worthy of these (and why): increasing taxes, nuclear war or rising prices.

Role  C – Nuclear War
You think nuclear war is the worthiest thing to protest about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least worthy of these (and why): corruption, increasing taxes or rising prices.

Role  D – Rising Prices
You think rising prices is the worthiest thing to protest about. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least worthy of these (and why): corruption, nuclear war or increasing taxes.

After reading / listening

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

'Cuba'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'business'.

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

    • ownership
    • shift
    • norm
    • 100
    • street
    • handling
    • introduce
    • tourism
    • key
    • bad
    • difficult
    • well

    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 - Cuba

    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 'Cuba'?
    3. What do you know about Cuba?
    4. Would you like to own a business?
    5. What do you think of state-owned companies?
    6. What do you think of communism?
    7. Should any industries be nationalised?
    8. How good an entrepreneur would you be?
    9. What things would make you protest in the streets?
    10. How has your government handled the pandemic?

    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 'business'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Would you like to visit Cuba?
    5. What advice do you have for Cuba's president?
    6. What can revitalise economies?
    7. What do you know about Cuba's tourism industry?
    8. What are your country's key industries?
    9. Where do you think Cuba will be in 10 years from now?
    10. What questions would you like to ask Cuba's leader?

    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)

    The government in Cuba is legalising the ownership of small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a (1) ____ shift in policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have traditionally been the (2) ____ in Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them into state (3) ____. The new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees. The change of (4) ____ from the government came after a month of (5) ____ protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against dire economic conditions. People also protested about a (6) ____ of food and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce new (7) ____ to revitalise his country's economy. Cuba relies (8) ____ tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves. Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have (9) ____ impacted this sector. Another key industry in Cuba is the production of sugar. Bad weather has resulted (10) ____ poor harvests and reduced revenues. These events have depleted the government's reserves of foreign currency, which means it has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine. Cuba (11) ____ O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent years striving, working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's economic (12) ____-being.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    (a)     monumental     (b)     memento     (c)     momentary     (d)     mental     2.    
    (a)     average     (b)     median     (c)     norm     (d)     mode     3.    
    (a)     hood     (b)     coffers     (c)     hands     (d)     run     4.    
    (a)     brain     (b)     lungs     (c)     liver     (d)     heart     5.    
    (a)     street     (b)     avenue     (c)     road     (d)     boulevard     6.    
    (a)     slack     (b)     lack     (c)     flack     (d)     clack     7.    
    (a)     invitations     (b)     intimates     (c)     initiates     (d)     initiatives     8.     
    (a)     of     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     to     9.    
    (a)     severe     (b)     sever     (c)     severely     (d)     several     10.    
    (a)     on     (b)     in     (c)     at     (d)     to     11.    
    (a)     expect     (b)     expat     (c)     extant     (d)     expert     12.    
    (a)     nice     (b)     well     (c)     good     (d)     bad

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. This represents a nmntaomuel shift
    2. policy from the miumncsot-ruled country
    3. following the vonoleritu in 1959
    4. He ietalndaions Cuba's industries
    5. allows etrpureeensnr to operate businesses
    6. eird economic conditions

    Paragraph 2

    1. he would introduce new nvitsiiaiet
    2. rvlsetiiae his country's economy
    3. elresyev impacted this sector
    4. poor ahrtvses and reduced revenues
    5. eplteded the government's reserves
    6. spent years riivtsgn

    Put the text back together

    (...)  years striving, working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's economic well-being.
    1  ) The government in Cuba is legalising the ownership of small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a
    (...)  power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them into state hands. The new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate
    (...)  currency, which means it has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine. Cuba
    (...)  traditionally been the norm in Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro to
    (...)  sugar. Bad weather has resulted in poor harvests and reduced revenues. These events have depleted the government's reserves of foreign
    (...)  expert O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent
    (...)  after a month of street protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against dire economic
    (...)  businesses that have up to 100 employees. The change of heart from the government came
    (...)  the pandemic have severely impacted this sector. Another key industry in Cuba is the production of
    (...)  Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce new initiatives to revitalise his country's
    (...)  economy. Cuba relies on tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves. Global restrictions on travel during
    (...)  monumental shift in policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have
    (...)  conditions. People also protested about a lack of food and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. represents   shift   in   monumental   This   policy   .   a
    2. to   that   The   revolution   power   .   brought   1959   Castro
    3. new   to   operate   businesses   .   allows   policy   The   entrepreneurs
    4. change   The   the   from   heart   government   .   of
    5. food   .   also   protested   about   lack   People   of   a
    6. his   country's   initiatives   to   revitalise   economy   .   new   Introduce
    7. Global   on   travel   the   restrictions   pandemic   .   during
    8. harvests   .   weather   Bad   in   resulted   has   poor
    9. events   reserves   .   depleted   the   have   government's   These
    10. economic   to   Trying   well-being   .   Cuba's   to   contribute

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The government in Cuba is legalising the ownership [at / of] small and medium-sized businesses. This represents a monumental shift [in / on] policy from the communist-ruled country. State-owned companies have traditionally been the [normal / norm] in Cuba, following the revolution in 1959 that brought Fidel Castro [to / of] power. He nationalised Cuba's industries to put them into state [hands / feet]. The new policy [allowing / allows] entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees. The change of [brain / heart] from the government came after a month of street protests. Thousands of Cubans demonstrated against [dire / dirt] economic conditions. People also protested about a [slack / lack] of food and the [handling / heading] of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said he would introduce [newly / new] initiatives to revitalise his country's economy. Cuba [relies / relics] on tourism for much of its foreign currency [reverses / reserves]. Global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have [severely / severed] impacted this sector. Another key industry in Cuba is the production [at / of] sugar. Bad weather has resulted in poor harvests and reduced revenues. These events have [depleted / completed] the government's reserves of foreign currency, which [means / meaning] it has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine. Cuba [expert / extent]O'Neill Diaz said "many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent years [starving / striving], working and trying to contribute" to Cuba's economic [well-being / nice-being].

    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)

    Th_  g_v_rnm_nt  _n  C_b_  _s  l_g_l_s_ng  th_  _wn_rsh_p  _f  sm_ll  _nd  m_d__m-s_z_d  b_s_n_ss_s.  Th_s  r_pr_s_nts  _  m_n_m_nt_l  sh_ft  _n  p_l_cy  fr_m  th_  c_mm_n_st-r_l_d  c__ntry.  St_t_-_wn_d  c_mp_n__s  h_v_  tr_d_t__n_lly  b__n  th_  n_rm  _n  C_b_,  f_ll_w_ng  th_  r_v_l_t__n  _n  1959  th_t  br__ght  F_d_l  C_str_  t_  p_w_r.  H_  n_t__n_l_s_d  C_b_'s  _nd_str__s  t_  p_t  th_m  _nt_  st_t_  h_nds.  Th_  n_w  p_l_cy  _ll_ws  _ntr_pr_n__rs  t_  _p_r_t_  b_s_n_ss_s  th_t  h_v_  _p  t_  100  _mpl_y__s.  Th_  ch_ng_  _f  h__rt  fr_m  th_  g_v_rnm_nt  c_m_  _ft_r  _  m_nth  _f  str__t  pr_t_sts.  Th__s_nds  _f  C_b_ns  d_m_nstr_t_d  _g__nst  d_r_  _c_n_m_c  c_nd_t__ns.  P__pl_  _ls_  pr_t_st_d  _b__t  _  l_ck  _f  f__d  _nd  th_  h_ndl_ng  _f  th_  c_r_n_v_r_s  p_nd_m_c.

    C_b_n  Pr_s_d_nt  M_g__l  D__z-C_n_l  s__d  h_  w__ld  _ntr_d_c_  n_w  _n_t__t_v_s  t_  r_v_t_l_s_  h_s  c__ntry's  _c_n_my.  C_b_  r_l__s  _n  t__r_sm  f_r  m_ch  _f  _ts  f_r__gn  c_rr_ncy  r_s_rv_s.  Gl_b_l  r_str_ct__ns  _n  tr_v_l  d_r_ng  th_  p_nd_m_c  h_v_  s_v_r_ly  _mp_ct_d  th_s  s_ct_r.  _n_th_r  k_y  _nd_stry  _n  C_b_  _s  th_  pr_d_ct__n  _f  s_g_r.  B_d  w__th_r  h_s  r_s_lt_d  _n  p__r  h_rv_sts  _nd  r_d_c_d  r_v_n__s.  Th_s_  _v_nts  h_v_  d_pl_t_d  th_  g_v_rnm_nt's  r_s_rv_s  _f  f_r__gn  c_rr_ncy,  wh_ch  m__ns  _t  h_s  b_c_m_  d_ff_c_lt  f_r  th_  c__ntry  t_  _mp_rt  f__d  _nd  m_d_c_n_.  C_b_  _xp_rt  _'N__ll  D__z  s__d  "m_ny  _ntr_pr_n__rs  fr_m  th_  pr_v_t_  s_ct_r  h_v_  sp_nt  y__rs  str_v_ng,  w_rk_ng  _nd  try_ng  t_  c_ntr_b_t_"  t_  C_b_'s  _c_n_m_c  w_ll-b__ng.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the government in cuba is legalising the ownership of small and mediumsized businesses this represents a monumental shift in policy from the communistruled country stateowned companies have traditionally been the norm in cuba following the revolution in 1959 that brought fidel castro to power he nationalised cubas industries to put them into state hands the new policy allows entrepreneurs to operate businesses that have up to 100 employees the change of heart from the government came after a month of street protests thousands of cubans demonstrated against dire economic conditions people also protested about a lack of food and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic

    cuban president miguel diazcanel said he would introduce new initiatives to revitalise his countrys economy cuba relies on tourism for much of its foreign currency reserves global restrictions on travel during the pandemic have severely impacted this sector another key industry in cuba is the production of sugar bad weather has resulted in poor harvests and reduced revenues these events have depleted the governments reserves of foreign currency which means it has become difficult for the country to import food and medicine cuba expert oneill diaz said many entrepreneurs from the private sector have spent years striving working and trying to contribute to cubas economic wellbeing

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ThegovernmentinCubaislegalisingtheownershipofsmallandmediu
    m-sizedbusinesses.Thisrepresentsamonumentalshiftinpolicyfromt
    hecommunist-ruledcountry.State-ownedcompanieshavetraditio
    nallybeenthenorminCuba,followingtherevolutionin1959thatbrough
    tFidelCastrotopower.HenationalisedCuba'sindustriestoputtheminto
    statehands.Thenewpolicyallowsentrepreneurstooperatebusinesses
    thathaveupto100employees.Thechangeofheartfromthegovernmen
    tcameafteramonthofstreetprotests.ThousandsofCubansdemonstra
    tedagainstdireeconomicconditions.Peoplealsoprotestedaboutalack
    offoodandthehandlingofthecoronaviruspandemic.CubanPresidentM
    iguelDiaz-Canelsaidhewouldintroducenewinitiativestorevitalisehisc
    ountry'seconomy.Cubareliesontourismformuchofitsforeigncurrenc
    yreserves.Globalrestrictionsontravelduringthepandemichavesever
    elyimpactedthissector.AnotherkeyindustryinCubaistheproductionof
    sugar.Badweatherhasresultedinpoorharvestsandreducedrevenues.
    Theseeventshavedepletedthegovernment'sreservesofforeigncurre
    ncy,whichmeansithasbecomedifficultforthecountrytoimportfoodan
    dmedicine.CubaexpertO'NeillDiazsaid"manyentrepreneursfromthe
    privatesectorhavespentyearsstriving,workingandtryingtocontribut
    e"toCuba'seconomicwell-being.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Everyone should be able to own a business. 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. CUBA: Make a poster about Cuba. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. STATE-RUN: Write a magazine article about making many indurstries state-owned. 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 Cuba. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on Cuba. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.





    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

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    Answers

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

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