Violence Continues in Syria and Libya While Refugees Hit Europe (Upper-Intermediate News Lesson)

With Answers! | Download Free Upper-Intermediate Syria, Libya, Refugee News Lesson plan here: Protests-Syria-Libya-Refugees-UppInt-27042011.doc

News Lesson Plan : Warm-up

  1. Have you ever been involved in a protest?
  2. Have there been any major protests in your country?
  3. How long has your family been living in your country?
  4. Does your country have an issue with refugees?

Arab Protests: News from Syria, Libya, and Europe (April 27th, 2011)

SYRIA - The international community has condemned the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Asaad for the use of violence against pro-democracy protesters. Since protests erupted last month, more than 400 people have been killed and an alleged 400 people have been arrested. Syria has deployed truckloads of troops to fight the anti-government protestors.
Members of the U.N. will meet this week to discuss a plan to persuade the Syrian president to end the assault on civilians. EU officials will also discuss the possibility of placing economic sanctions on Syria.
LIBYA - NATO is enforcing a UN resolution to protect civilians amid a revolt that began two months ago. A UN team has recently arrived in the capital of Tripoli to investigate human rights violations committed by the Gaddafi government, rebels, and NATO forces. There have been reports of disappearances, torture, and the indiscriminate bombing of civilians.
UK Deference Secretary has stated that Gaddafi forces are on the back foot. The fighting is now fiercest in the western city of Misrata, a major city held by the rebels.
On Tuesday, the United States eased oil sanctions on Libya. This will allow the rebels to sell oil and oil products to US firms.
FRANCE/ITALY - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian President Silvio Berlusconi have asked the EU to close its borders in the wake of recent Arab protests. The current system allows passport-free travel among 25 EU countries. The presidents have asked for a review of this law in order to limit the movement of refugees. Berlusconi has also asked other EU countries to share the responsibility in dealing with the recent exodus of immigrants. In the past two months, nearly 30,000 immigrants have arrived in Italy from Tunisia. [289 words]

News Lesson Plan : Comprehension Questions

1)    Where is NATO currently involved?
2)    True or False: The EU has placed economic sanctions on Syria.
3)    Why has the U.N. team traveled to Libya?
4)    True or False: Government forces have taken the city of Misrata in Libya.
5)    From which country has Italy received a wave of immigrants?
1 - NATO is currently involved in Libya. The organization is enforcing a U.N. resolution to protect civilians.
2 - False. Not yet.
3 - The team has traveled to Libya to investigate human rights abuses.
4 - False. The city is controlled by the rebels.
5 - Italy has received a wave of immigrants from Tunisia.

News Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
amid (also mid, amidst)
on the back foot
ease (verb)
  • condemn - criticize
  • erupt - explode
  • alleged - supposed, claimed
  • deploy - post, position, install
  • assault - attack
  • indiscriminate - random, arbitrary
  • amid - in the middle of something
  • sanction - trade penalty
  • on the back foot - in a disadvantaged defensive position
  • fierce - intense, aggressive
  • ease - relax, loosen
  • exodus - mass departure, mass wirthdrawal

News Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
U.N. / condemn
violence / erupt
alleged / Nazi
tanks / deploy
fierce / assault
indiscriminate / bombing
scandal / amid / election
boxer / on the back foot
ease / sanction
exodus / Italy
Possible answers
  • The U.N. has condemned violence committed by the Syrian government.
  • Violence erupted in the streets of the African capital.
  • The author is an alleged member of a pro-Nazi political group.
  • Hundreds of tanks were deployed for the war.
  • The assault between protesters and police was fierce.
  • There have been reports of indiscriminate bombing in Libya.
  • The scandal hurt the political party's image amid its election campaign.
  • The boxer was on the back foot for the entire 2nd round.
  • The United States has eased its sanctions on Libya.
  • The exodus of north-African refugees has caused problems for Italy and Greece.

News Lesson Plan: Idiom Focus

in the wake of
1) following something; coming after something
hint: a wake is a track that a boat or ship leaves in water. A wake is a trail that always follows a boat. When something happens in the wake of something, it happens after it; it follows it.
In the wake of the protests, the government agreed to lower taxes.
Read and complete the below sentences where necessary.

In the wake of the Hiroshiima bomb attack, Japan .

In the wake of  , I decided to .

Possible answers
  • ... Japan surrendered.
  • In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in the city, I decided to  move to the countryside.

News Lesson Plan: Debate 1

Student A: You support the involvement of NATO and the U.N. in the conflicts in the Arab world. You believe they have a role in supporting new democracies. Think of reasons to support your argument for a minute. Your partner will start the debate.

Student B: You think that Western-style democracy won't work in the Arab world. You do not think NATO or the U.N. should be involved in their conflicts. Think of reasons to support your argument for a minute. When you're ready, start the discussion (e.g. “I think the West should mind its business…”)

News Lesson Plan: Debate 2

Student A: You are Berlusconi. You think France should help your country deal with the recent flood of immigrants by accepting busloads of Tunisian refugees. Take a minute to think of your argument and then start the conversation.

Student B: You are Sarkozy. You are against having more refugees in your country. Think of reasons why refugees should not be allowed to travel into France. Your partner will start the conversation.

News Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

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

1)    What is the best way to protest a government? Can violence be necessary?
2)    Do you believe the right of assembly (the right to gather to protest) is a universal right?
3)    Should NATO's mission be to remove Gaddafi?
4)    How optimistic are you about the future of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria?
5)    Can Western-style democracy work in extremely religious countries?
6)    Do you think your country should share the responsibility of accepting refugees?

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One comment on “Violence Continues in Syria and Libya While Refugees Hit Europe (Upper-Intermediate News Lesson)

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