Political Crisis Continues in Ivory Coast (Upper-Intermediate News Lesson)

With Answers! | Download Free Ivory Coast News Lesson plan here: Ivory-Coast-Politics-UppertInt-09042011.doc

News Lesson Plan: Warm-up

1) Where is the Ivory Coast (or Cote D'Ivoire)?
2) Were there any problems with the most recent elections in your country?
3) What effect can domestic conflicts abroad have on you?
4) Are there many refugees living in your country?

Political Crisis Continues in Ivory Coast (April 9th, 2011)

Political struggle continues in the Ivory Coast of West Africa months after December elections announced the victory of Alassane Ouattara. The country's former leader, Laurent Gbagbo, has rejected the election results and barricaded himself in the country's presidential compound.
Ouattara, supported by the international community including the U.N. and the E.U., has given up on driving Gbagbo from the compound to murder him. Youssoufou Bamba, Outtara's U.N. ambassador, states "We cannot give this luxury to Gbabgo, to be a martyr … (h)e will be captured alive. He will be well and alive and respond before justice the crime he has committed." Ouattara has begun taking charge of the country and asked the European Union to lift sanctions on the country's ports.
Gbagbo's support lies in the country's south while Ouattara has had overwhelming support in the north. Investigations by the United Nations have found the bodies of hundreds victims of what appears to be ethnic killing. While there have been many accounts of Gbagbo-lead violence, the international group Human Rights Watch has received information on hundreds of deaths and dozens of rapes committed by Ouattara supporters. The HRW has called for an impartial investigation for the heinous crimes committed by both sides.
More than a million people have been displaced by the conflict. The bordering country of Liberia has been swamped by 125,000 refugees. The conflict has also caused prices for cocoa, the Ivory Coast's largest crop, to rise by ten percent. [242 words]
[Research sources: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/09/ivory-coast-rebels-kill-hundreds http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/04/09/c-te-d-ivoire-ouattara-forces-kill-rape-civilians-during-offensive]

News Lesson Plan: Comprehension Questions

1)    Where is the former president Gbagbo currently?
2)    True or False: Outtara does not want Gbagbo killed.
3)    What has Outtara asked the European Union to do?
4)    What has the HRW report revealed?
5)    What effects has the conflict had abroad?
1 - He is still in the presidential compound. He refuses to leave.
2 - True. He does not want him to become a martyr.
3 - Outtara has asked the EU to remove the sanctions on the country's ports.
4 - Both sides of the conflict have committed horrible crimes.
5 - Refugees have flooded into Liberia and the price of cocoa has increased by 10 percent.

News Lesson Plan : Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
barricade (verb)
drive (out/from)
lie (verb)
  • atrocity - brutality, monstrosity
  • barricade - seal
  • drive out/from - expel
  • martyr - a person killed due to religious/political beliefs
  • sanctions - restriction, embargo
  • lie - rest, is situated
  • overwhelming - enormous
  • account - report, description
  • impartial - neutral, objective
  • heinous - horrific, wicked
  • displace - move, shift
  • swamped - flooded

News Lesson Plan: Master the Language

Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.
mountain range            lie (verb)
dictator barricade (verb)
drug dealers    drive (out/from)
sanction           oil
smell    overwhelming
account            UFO
impartial           investigation
military             heinous           crime
people          displaced
swamped        work
Possible Answers:
  • The dictator barricaded himself in his office.
  • The city's major planned to drive every drug dealer out of the city.
  • The man who set himself on fire was remembered as a martyr.
  • The government has placed sanctions on oil from the Middle East.
  • The smell of perfume coming from her body was overwhelming.
  • There have been several accounts of UFOs landing in the U.S.A.
  • An impartial investigation revealed that many government officials were corrupt.
  • The military was accused of committing heinous crimes.
  • Thousands of people were displaced by the civil war.
  • Brenda was swamped with work.

News Lesson Plan: Debate

Student A: You believe the international community has a responsibility to promote democracy in Africa. Think of reasons to support your argument for a minute. Start the debate by asking your partner “What should we do about the conflict in the Ivory Coast?”

Student B: You believe that Western-style democracy is not suitable for African countries. You do not think the international community should be involved in domestic struggles in Africa. Think of reasons to support your argument for a minute.

: Discussion Questions

(Write your answers in the Comments section below if you wish).

  1. Are you optimistic about the future of the Ivory Coast?
  2. What role should the international community have in Africa?
  3. Do you think countries should share the responsibility of accepting refugees?
  4. What flaws of democracy are related to the story?
  5. Can democracy work in Africa?
  6. Who (or what) do you think of when you hear the word “martyr”?
  7. Becoming a martyr: Are there any ideals that you would die for?

News lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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