The Reading / Listening - Cost of Living - Level 6

The cost of living crisis is hitting people's pockets hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made basic necessities like food, heating and transport unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been over the shocking dilemma of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than doubled this year for many consumers, resulting in those on low incomes or on benefits facing the choice of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will be exacerbated by rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come into effect next week.

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown lambasted the man responsible for controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this poverty.…You cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and feeding their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the ruling Conservative Party will be known as the "nasty" party. Further price hikes and food shortages are on the horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government critics are calling for a one-off "windfall tax" on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Cost of Living - Level 4  or  Cost of Living - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/mar/23/food-bank-users-declining-potatoes-as-cooking-costs-too-high-says-iceland-boss
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60858113
  • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10643039/Iceland-boss-claims-food-banks-users-turning-donations-potatoes-amid-energy-price-rises.html


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. THE COST OF LIVING: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about the cost of living. 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?
       cost of living / pockets / oil prices / necessities / dilemma / doubled / heating / health
       responsible / compassionate / poverty / urgent / nasty / party / food shortages / help
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. FOOD: Students A strongly believe all governments should buy food for poorer people; Students B strongly believe the opposite. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. DILEMMAS: What would you do in these dilemmas? Why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Choice

Why?

Heating or eating

 

 

Chocolate cake or salad

 

 

Sleep or study for test

 

 

Buy an iPhone or go holiday

 

 

Give money to charity or save it

 

 

Be honest about friend's bad hairstyle or lie about it

 

 

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. DEBATE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "debate". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. NECESSITIES: Rank these with your partner. Put the biggest necessities at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Heating
  • Bottled water
  • Internet
  • Books
  • Chocolate
  • Gasoline
  • Bread
  • Electricity

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. soaring a. Too expensive for the average person to be able to buy.
      2. necessities b. A payment to a common fund or collection.
      3. unaffordable c. Increasing rapidly above the usual level.
      4. dilemma d. Things we need and cannot live without.
      5. exacerbated e. A situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives.
      6. contribution f. Made a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling worse.
      7. come into effect g. Start to apply.

    Paragraph 2

      8. lambasted h. Requiring immediate action or attention.
      9. compassionate i. Criticized someone or something strongly.
      10. poverty j. Refuse to take notice of or acknowledge.
      11. ignore k. Very bad or unpleasant.
      12. urgent l. Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.
      13. nasty m. Done, made, or happening only once.
      14. one-off n. The state of being extremely poor.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. People have deeper pockets because of the cost of living crisis.     T / F
  2. Some people in the UK have to choose between heating and eating.     T / F
  3. Energy prices in the UK have doubled for some people in the UK.     T / F
  4. Some people cannot afford to boil potatoes.     T / F
  5. A former UK prime minister praised Britain's chancellor.     T / F
  6. The former prime minister said the ruling party was nasty.     T / F
  7. The government asked people to look at the horizon.     T / F
  8. Some people want energy companies to pay a one-time extra tax.     T / F

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

  1. crisis
  2. soaring
  3. dilemma
  4. facing
  5. exacerbated
  6. lambasted
  7. compassionate
  8. ignore
  9. urgent
  10. windfall
  1. quandary
  2. disregard
  3. worsened
  4. rising
  5. sympathetic
  6. bonanza
  7. emergency
  8. critical
  9. encountering
  10. criticised

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

  1. The cost of living crisis is hitting
  2. basic
  3. the shocking dilemma of
  4. Energy prices have more
  5. rises in contributions to the country's
  6. man responsible for controlling
  7. You cannot ignore the
  8. it was urgent
  9. Further price hikes and food shortages
  10. a one-off "windfall
  1. health care system
  2. "heating or eating"
  3. for the chancellor to act
  4. tax" on the huge profits
  5. necessities
  6. are on the horizon
  7. than doubled this year
  8. Britain's finances
  9. needs of parents
  10. people's pockets

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
dilemma
basic
hard
doubled
exacerbated
unaffordable
pockets
benefits

The cost of living crisis is hitting people's (1) _____________________ hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made (2) _____________________ necessities like food, heating and transport (3) _____________________ for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been over the shocking (4) _____________________ of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than (5) _____________________ this year for many consumers, resulting in those on low incomes or on (6) _____________________ facing the choice of heating their home, or eating. Life is so (7) _____________________ for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will be (8) _____________________ by rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come into effect next week.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
horizon
feeding
profits
lambasted
windfall
ruling
nasty
poverty

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (9) _____________________ the man responsible for controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this (10) _____________________....You cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and (11) _____________________ their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the (12) _____________________ Conservative Party will be known as the "(13) _____________________" party. Further price hikes and food shortages are on the (14) _____________________ as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government critics are calling for a one-off "(15) _____________________ tax" on the huge (16) _____________________ of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The cost of living crisis is hitting ______
     a.  people's rockets hard
     b.  people's pock marks hard
     c.  people's pickets hard
     d.  people's pockets hard
2)  over the past few months, the debate has been over ______
     a.  the shocking diorama
     b.  the shocking dial Emma
     c.  the shocking dye a lemming
     d.  the shocking dilemma
3)  of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than ______
     a.  doublet this year
     b.  dubbed this year
     c.  doubled this year
     d.  double led this year
4)  consumers, resulting in those on low incomes ______
     a.  or on beneficiaries
     b.  or on benefits
     c.  or on Benny fits
     d.  or on Ben he fits
5)  rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come into ______
     a.  affect next week
     b.  inflect next week
     c.  reflect next week
     d.  effect next week

6)  Gordon Brown lambasted the man responsible for ______
     a.  control in Britain's finances
     b.  con trolling Britain's finances
     c.  counter rolling Britain's finances
     d.  controlling Britain's finances
7)  Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something ______
     a.  abut this poverty
     b.  a bout this poverty
     c.  abs out this poverty
     d.  about this poverty
8)  or the ruling Conservative Party will be known as ______
     a.  the pasty party
     b.  the pastry party
     c.  the nasty party
     d.  the gnats party
9)  Further price hikes and food shortages are ______
     a.  on the horizon
     b.  in the horizon
     c.  end the horizon
     d.  on the horizontal
10)  Government critics are calling for a one-______
     a.  off "windmill tax"
     b.  off "windfall tax"
     c.  off "windy tax"
     d.  off "wind full tax"

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The cost of living crisis is hitting people's (1) ____________________ across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made (2) ____________________ food, heating and transport unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been over the (3) ____________________ "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than doubled this year for many consumers, resulting in those on low incomes or on benefits (4) ____________________ of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will (5) ____________________ rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which (6) ____________________ next week.

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (7) ____________________ responsible for controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "(8) ____________________ compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this poverty....You cannot (9) ____________________ of parents who are having to choose between putting (10) ____________________ and feeding their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the ruling Conservative Party will be known as (11) ____________________. Further price hikes and food shortages are on the horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government critics are calling for a (12) ____________________ on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.

Comprehension questions

  1. What does the article say the cost of living crisis is hitting?
  2. What has made the price of basic necessities so expensive?
  3. What does the article say have more than doubled this year?
  4. What is the dilemma that many people in the UK face?
  5. When will people have to start paying more for the health care system?
  6. Who criticised the UK chancellor?
  7. Who did a former prime minister say the government could not ignore?
  8. What might the Conservative Party become known as?
  9. What does the article say is on the horizon?
  10. What do many people want a one-time tax on?

Multiple choice quiz

1) What does the article say the cost of living crisis is hitting?
a) oil
b) potato prices
c) people's pockets
d) energy
2) What has made the price of basic necessities so expensive?
a) soaring oil and gas prices
b) bad weather
c) inflation
d) high demand
3) What does the article say have more than doubled this year?
a) potato crop yields
b) energy prices
c) oil production
d) poverty
4) What is the dilemma that many people in the UK face?
a) oil or gas
b) working or not working
c) saving or spending
d) heating or eating
5) When will people have to start paying more for the health care system?
a) later this year
b) next month
c) next week
d) next year

6) Who criticised the UK chancellor?
a) poor people
b) a former prime minister
c) the Conservative Party
d) potato farmers
7) Who did a former prime minister say the government could not ignore?
a) voters
b) oil giants
c) farmers
d) parents
8) What might the Conservative Party become known as?
a) history
b) the nasty party
c) the party for the poor
d) the party for the rich
9) What does the article say is on the horizon?
a) the sun
b) price hikes and food shortages
c) help
d) more oil and gas
10) What do many people want a one-time tax on?
a) the profits of energy companies
b) tech companies
c) income
d) gasoline

Role play

Role  A – Heating
You think heating is life's biggest necessity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as necessary. Also, tell the others which is the least necessary of these (and why): bottled water, bread or books.

Role  B – Bottled Water
You think bottled water is life's biggest necessity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as necessary. Also, tell the others which is the least necessary of these (and why): heating, bread or books.

Role  C – Bread
You think bread is life's biggest necessity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as necessary. Also, tell the others which is the least necessary of these (and why): bottled water, heating or books.

Role  D – Books
You think books are life's biggest necessity. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as necessary. Also, tell the others which is the least necessary of these (and why): bottled water, bread or heating.

After reading / listening

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

'cost'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'crisis'.

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

    • pockets
    • few
    • dilemma
    • low
    • hard
    • effect
    • responsible
    • poverty
    • feeding
    • urgent
    • horizon
    • huge

    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 - Cost of Living

    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 'cost'?
    3. What do you think of the cost of living?
    4. Do you have enough money?
    5. How have rising energy prices affected you?
    6. What things have you noticed going up in price?
    7. What do you think of the dilemma of heating or eating?
    8. How much do you worry about money?
    9. What was the last thing you could not afford to buy?
    10. What advice do you have for people on low incomes?

    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 'crisis'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How difficult do you think it is to look after a country's finances?
    5. How much do political parties care about poor people?
    6. How has the war in Ukraine affected you?
    7. What advice do you have for chancellor Rishi Sunak?
    8. What would you do if you could not afford to buy food?
    9. Should big companies pay more money in tax?
    10. What questions would you like to ask oil company CEOs?

    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 cost of living crisis is (1) ____ people's pockets hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have (2) ____ basic necessities like food, heating and transport unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been (3) ____ the shocking dilemma of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than doubled this year for many consumers, resulting (4) ____ those on low incomes or on benefits facing the choice of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will be (5) ____ by rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come (6) ____ effect next week.

    Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (7) ____ the man responsible for controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this (8) ____....You cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and feeding their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the (9) ____ Conservative Party will be known as the "nasty" party. Further price (10) ____ and food shortages are on the horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of (11) ____ rise. Government critics are calling for a one-(12) ____ "windfall tax" on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     sewing     (b)     filling     (c)     hitting     (d)     smashing    
    2. (a)     made     (b)     done     (c)     given     (d)     had    
    3. (a)     over     (b)     above     (c)     up     (d)     heighten    
    4. (a)     in     (b)     of     (c)     as     (d)     up    
    5. (a)     extricated     (b)     inculcated     (c)     incarcerated     (d)     exacerbated    
    6. (a)     to     (b)     as to     (c)     unto     (d)     into    
    7. (a)     lambasted     (b)     lambed     (c)     basted     (d)     lumbered    
    8. (a)     perish     (b)     impoverished     (c)     impoverish     (d)     poverty    
    9. (a)     ruling     (b)     reeling     (c)     railing     (d)     rolling    
    10. (a)     trails     (b)     hikes     (c)     walks     (d)     tramps    
    11. (a)     wheal     (b)     wheat     (c)     whet     (d)     wheaten    
    12. (a)     off     (b)     on     (c)     only     (d)     once

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. basic nesesiesict like food
    2. fuaofldrenab for many people
    3. the shocking eidmaml of "heating or eating"
    4. more than ueboddl this year
    5. This situation will be aceexrebtad by rises
    6. riinutocotbsn to the country's health care system

    Paragraph 2

    1. Brown mdeblatsa the man
    2. caring and caoanpieostsm
    3. ogiern the needs of parents
    4. it was urgent for the rhanecllco
    5. food rgsoehast
    6. a ffeo-on "windfall tax"

    Put the text back together

    (...)  to act, or the ruling Conservative Party will be known as the "nasty" party. Further price hikes and food shortages are on the
    (...)  doubled this year for many consumers, resulting in those on low incomes or on benefits facing the choice
    1  ) The cost of living crisis is hitting people's pockets hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made basic
    (...)  to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes. This situation will be exacerbated by rises in
    (...)  of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money
    (...)  between putting their heating up and feeding their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor
    (...)  Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown lambasted the man responsible for controlling Britain's finances,
    (...)  something about this poverty....You cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose
    (...)  few months, the debate has been over the shocking dilemma of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than
    (...)  horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government critics are calling
    (...)  for a one-off "windfall tax" on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.
    (...)  necessities like food, heating and transport unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past
    (...)  chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do
    (...)  contributions to the country's health care system, which come into effect next week.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. The   hitting   people   .   is   living   cost   of   crisis
    2. dilemma   .   The   debate   been   over   the   has   shocking
    3. year   .   doubled   this   more   have   prices   Energy   than
    4. don't   to   gas   .   money   have   enough   use   They
    5. exacerbated   situation   will   This   further   rises   .   by   be
    6. lambasted  finances  .  the   responsible   for   Brown   man   controlling
    7. cannot   needs   of   ignore   the   parents   .   You
    8. It   the   chancellor   was   urgent   for   act   .   to
    9. hikes   are   and   the   on   Price   horizon   .   shortages
    10. the   windfall   profits   .   tax   huge   one-off   A   on

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The cost of living crisis / critics is hitting people's pockets hard all across the world. Soaring oil and gas prices have made basically / basic necessities like food, heating and transport affordable / unaffordable for many people. In the UK over the past few months, the debate has been over / above the shocking dilemma of "heating or eating". Energy prices have more than doubled / two-fold this year for many consumers, resulting in those / them on low incomes or on benefits facing the choose / choice of heating their home, or eating. Life is so hard / hardly for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil / boiling potatoes. This situation will be exacerbated by rises in contributions to the country's health care system, which come onto / into effect next week.

    Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown basted / lambasted the man responsible for / by controlling Britain's finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak. Mr Brown said: "Any cared / caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this impoverished / poverty....You cannot ignore the needy / needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and feeding / fed their children." He added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act, or the ruling Conservative Party will be knowing / known as the "nasty" party. Further price hikes / trails and food shortages are on the horizontal / horizon as the war in Ukraine will see the price of wheat rise. Government criticises / critics are calling for a one-off "windfall tax" on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged.

    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_  c_st  _f  l_v_ng  cr_s_s  _s  h_tt_ng  p__pl_'s  p_ck_ts  h_rd  _ll  _cr_ss  th_  w_rld.  S__r_ng  __l  _nd  g_s  pr_c_s  h_v_  m_d_  b_s_c  n_c_ss_t__s  l_k_  f__d,  h__t_ng  _nd  tr_nsp_rt  _n_ff_rd_bl_  f_r  m_ny  p__pl_.  _n  th_  _K  _v_r  th_  p_st  f_w  m_nths,  th_  d_b_t_  h_s  b__n  _v_r  th_  sh_ck_ng  d_l_mm_  _f  "h__t_ng  _r  __t_ng".  _n_rgy  pr_c_s  h_v_  m_r_  th_n  d__bl_d  th_s  y__r  f_r  m_ny  c_ns_m_rs,  r_s_lt_ng  _n  th_s_  _n  l_w  _nc_m_s  _r  _n  b_n_f_ts  f_c_ng  th_  ch__c_  _f  h__t_ng  th__r  h_m_,  _r  __t_ng.  L_f_  _s  s_  h_rd  f_r  s_m_  th_t  th_y  d_  n_t  h_v_  _n__gh  m_n_y  t_  _s_  g_s  _r  _l_ctr_c_ty  t_  b__l  p_t_t__s.  Th_s  s_t__t__n  w_ll  b_  _x_c_rb_t_d  by  r_s_s  _n  c_ntr_b_t__ns  t_  th_  c__ntry's  h__lth  c_r_  syst_m,  wh_ch  c_m_  _nt_  _ff_ct  n_xt  w__k.

    F_rm_r  _K  Pr_m_  M_n_st_r  G_rd_n  Br_wn  l_mb_st_d  th_  m_n  r_sp_ns_bl_  f_r  c_ntr_ll_ng  Br_t__n's  f_n_nc_s,  ch_nc_ll_r  R_sh_  S_n_k.  Mr  Br_wn  s__d:  "_ny  c_r_ng  _nd  c_mp_ss__n_t_  ch_nc_ll_r  w__ld  w_nt  t_  d_  s_m_th_ng  _b__t  th_s  p_v_rty....Y__  c_nn_t  _gn_r_  th_  n__ds  _f  p_r_nts  wh_  _r_  h_v_ng  t_  ch__s_  b_tw__n  p_tt_ng  th__r  h__t_ng  _p  _nd  f__d_ng  th__r  ch_ldr_n."  H_  _dd_d  th_t  _t  w_s  _rg_nt  f_r  th_  ch_nc_ll_r  t_  _ct,  _r  th_  r_l_ng  C_ns_rv_t_v_  P_rty  w_ll  b_  kn_wn  _s  th_  "n_sty"  p_rty.  F_rth_r  pr_c_  h_k_s  _nd  f__d  sh_rt_g_s  _r_  _n  th_  h_r_z_n  _s  th_  w_r  _n  _kr__n_  w_ll  s__  th_  pr_c_  _f  wh__t  r_s_.  G_v_rnm_nt  cr_t_cs  _r_  c_ll_ng  f_r  _  _n_-_ff  "w_ndf_ll  t_x"  _n  th_  h_g_  pr_f_ts  _f  _n_rgy  c_mp_n__s  t_  h_lp  th_  d_s_dv_nt_g_d.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the cost of living crisis is hitting peoples pockets hard all across the world soaring oil and gas prices have made basic necessities like food heating and transport unaffordable for many people in the uk over the past few months the debate has been over the shocking dilemma of heating or eating energy prices have more than doubled this year for many consumers resulting in those on low incomes or on benefits facing the choice of heating their home or eating life is so hard for some that they do not have enough money to use gas or electricity to boil potatoes this situation will be exacerbated by rises in contributions to the countrys health care system which come into effect next week

    former uk prime minister gordon brown lambasted the man responsible for controlling britains finances chancellor rishi sunak mr brown said any caring and compassionate chancellor would want to do something about this povertyyou cannot ignore the needs of parents who are having to choose between putting their heating up and feeding their children he added that it was urgent for the chancellor to act or the ruling conservative party will be known as the nasty party further price hikes and food shortages are on the horizon as the war in ukraine will see the price of wheat rise government critics are calling for a oneoff windfall tax on the huge profits of energy companies to help the disadvantaged

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Thecostoflivingcrisisishittingpeople'spocketshardallacrosstheworld.
    Soaringoilandgaspriceshavemadebasicnecessitieslikefood,heatinga
    ndtransportunaffordableformanypeople.IntheUKoverthepastfewm
    onths,thedebatehasbeenovertheshockingdilemmaof"heatingoreati
    ng".Energypriceshavemorethandoubledthisyearformanyconsumer
    s,resultinginthoseonlowincomesoronbenefitsfacingthechoiceofheat
    ingtheirhome,oreating.Lifeissohardforsomethattheydonothaveeno
    ughmoneytousegasorelectricitytoboilpotatoes.Thissituationwillbee
    xacerbatedbyrisesincontributionstothecountry'shealthcaresystem,
    whichcomeintoeffectnextweek.FormerUKPrimeMinisterGordonBro
    wnlambastedthemanresponsibleforcontrollingBritain'sfinances,cha
    ncellorRishiSunak.MrBrownsaid:"Anycaringandcompassionatechan
    cellorwouldwanttodosomethingaboutthispoverty....Youcannotignor
    etheneedsofparentswhoarehavingtochoosebetweenputtingtheirhe
    atingupandfeedingtheirchildren."Headdedthatitwasurgentforthech
    ancellortoact,ortherulingConservativePartywillbeknownasthe"nast
    y"party.Furtherpricehikesandfoodshortagesareonthehorizonasthe
    warinUkrainewillseethepriceofwheatrise.Governmentcriticsarecalli
    ngforaone-off"windfalltax"onthehugeprofitsofenergycompaniest
    ohelpthedisadvantaged.

    Free writing

    Write about cost of living crisis for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Governments should always pay for the poor to eat and have food. 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. THE COST OF LIVING: Make a poster about the cost of living. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. FREE FOOD: Write a magazine article about governments giving free food to anyone who cannot afford to buy it. 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 the cost of living. Ask him/her three questions about the cost of living. Give him/her three of your ideas. 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

    Buy my book

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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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