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My 1,000
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Date: Jul 7, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (1:55 - 226.8 KB - 16kbps)

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

 

THE ARTICLE

London will host the 2012 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee announced the decision on July 6 in Singapore. It was the closest race to decide the venue of the Games in Olympics history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime favorite, would win. However, in the final round of voting London managed to edge its rival by 54 to 50 votes. Crowds in London erupted with joy. Meanwhile, Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris victory went home in stunned silence.

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. Organizers gathered an impressive collection of high profile sporting and political figures to support London. A huge boost came when Nelson Mandela backed the British capital. Other big names who championed London were Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Prime Minister Tony Blair. He took time off from the G8 summit to dash to Singapore. His eleventh-hour visit certainly paid dividends.

WARM-UPS

1. OLYMPIC CHAMPION: Imagine you are an Olympic champion. Decide in what sport you won your gold medal. Talk to the other Olympic champions in your class about being champion and how you won your medal. How has your life changed since becoming champion?

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

London / the Olympic Games / Paris / joy / silence / Nelson Mandela / David Beckham / gold medals / dividends

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

3. OLYMPICS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the Olympics. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. OLYMPIC OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about these opinions on the Olympics. Which do you agree and disagree with?

  1. London deserved to get the Olympics.
  2. London won because France’s Jacques Chirac criticized British and Finnish food.
  3. It’s time for the Olympics to be held in Africa.
  4. I really want to go to London in 2012.
  5. The Olympic Games are not important – It’s just sport.
  6. The World Cup is much bigger and more important than the Olympics.
  7. London is the world’s greatest city.
  8. The Olympic Games are more about politics than sport.
  9. Paris should get the 2016 Olympic Games.
  10. The Olympics is a true celebration of human togetherness.

5. LOSING CITIES: In pairs / groups, talk about whether London is the best city to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Compare London to the other cities that were in the final round of voting.

  • London
  • Paris
  • Madrid
  • New York
  • Moscow

Do you think your city should one day host the Olympics?


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

London easily won the right to stage the 2012 Olympic Games.

T / F

b.

The final round of voting was between London, Paris and New York.

T / F

c.

London beat Paris by just four votes.

T / F

d.

People in Paris screamed and shouted all the way home.

T / F

e.

London last held the Olympics 29 years ago.

T / F

f.

Nelson Mandela backed London’s bid.

T / F

g.

Tony Blair dashed to Singapore to help London win.

T / F

h.

British companies are paying their shareholders big dividends.

T / F

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

a.

host

broke out

b.

venue

lift

c.

edge

collected

d.

erupted

stage

e.

stunned

rush

f.

gathered

shocked

g.

support

last-minute

h.

boost

location

i.

dash

back

j.

eleventh-hour

beat

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

London will

with joy

b.

race to decide

dividends

c.

London managed to edge

sporting and political figures

d.

Crowds in London erupted

silence

e.

stunned

visit

f.

gathered an impressive

host the 2012 Olympic Games

g.

high profile

collection

h.

Other big names who

the venue of the Games

i.

eleventh-hour

its rival

j.

paid

championed London were…

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

London to host 2012 Olympics
 

London will _______ the 2012 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee _______ the decision on July 6 in Singapore. It was the _______ race to decide the _______ of the Games in Olympics history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the _______ favorite, would win. However, in the final round of voting London managed to _______ its rival by 54 to 50 votes. Crowds in London _______ with joy. Meanwhile, Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris victory went home in _______ silence.

 

 

erupted
announced
edge
longtime
host
stunned
venue
closest

It is the first time the Games will be held in London _______ 1948. Organizers _______ an impressive collection of high profile sporting and political _______ to support London. A huge _______ came when Nelson Mandela backed the British capital. Other big names who _______ London were Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Prime Minister Tony Blair. He took time _______ from the G8 summit to _______ to Singapore. His eleventh-hour visit certainly paid _______.

 

 

dividends
figures
championed
gathered
dash
off
boost
since


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘close’ and ‘race’.

  • 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 gap fill. 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. STUDENT OLYMPICS SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about London and the Olympics.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • host
  • race
  • last
  • edge
  • joy
  • silence
  • 1948
  • high
  • boost
  • championed
  • dash
  • eleventh-hour

 DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you read this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the story?
  3. How did this headline make you feel?
  4. Are you glad London won the 2012 Olympics?
  5. Do you think London will do a good job at hosting the Games?
  6. Would you like your city to stage the Games?
  7. Why do you think Paris lost when it was expected to win?
  8. What do the Olympic Games mean for a city?
  9. What are your first memories of the Olympics?
  10. What do you think of Olympic athletes taking drugs?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. Would you like to go to the 2012 Olympics in London?
  4. Do you think the Olympics are the world’s most important sporting event?
  5. What’s your favorite event at the Olympics?
  6. What can you remember from previous Olympics?
  7. Do you think Africa should get its first Olympic Games in 2016?
  8. Is London a better city to host the games than the other cities – Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow?
  9. Do you think America gets the Games too often?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

OLYMPIC GAMES:

Imagine the 2012 Olympic Games will not be held in London but in your town or city or where you are currently studying. In pairs / groups, discuss and agree on the factors below:

FACTORS

  YOUR DECISIONS

 

The 2012 Games slogan
 

 

Where will the Olympic village be?
 

 

What new sports will you introduce?
 

 

What new things need to be built?
 

 

What problems need to be solved?
 

 

Other
 

 

After you have finished, change partners and show each other your plans. Give each other advice on how to improve your plans.

Return to your original partners and use the advice you received into changing your original plans to make them better.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

London to host 2012 Olympics

London ____ ____ the 2012 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee announced the ________ on July 6 in Singapore. It was ___ _______ race to decide the venue of the games in Olympics history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it ______ ____ Paris, the longtime favorite, would win. However, in the final round of voting London managed __ _____ its rival by 54 to 50 votes. Crowds in London erupted ____ ____. Meanwhile, Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris victory went home in _______ silence.

It is the first time the Games will __ ____ in London since 1948. Organizers gathered an __________ collection of high profile sporting and political ________ to support London. A huge ______ ____ when Nelson Mandela ______ the British capital. Other big names who ___________ London were Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Prime Minister Tony Blair. He took time off from the G8 summit __ ____ __ Singapore. His eleventh-hour visit __________ paid _________.

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 more information on the 2012 London Olympics. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. 2016: Make a poster outlining why your city or town should be awarded the Olympic Games in 2016. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Give a mini presentation and take a vote on the best city / town.

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the International Olympic Committee. Tell him what you think of the decision to award London the 2012 Olympics. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

host

stage

b.

venue

location

c.

edge

beat

d.

erupted

broke out

e.

stunned

shocked

f.

gathered

collected

g.

support

back

h.

boost

lift

i.

dash rush

j.

eleventh-hour last-minute

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

London will

host the 2012 Olympic Games

b.

race to decide

the venue of the Games

c.

London managed to edge

its rival

d.

Crowds in London erupted

with joy

e.

stunned

silence

f.

gathered an impressive

collection

g.

high profile

sporting and political figures

h.

Other big names who

championed London were…

i.

eleventh-hour

visit

j.

paid

dividends

GAP FILL:

London to host 2012 Olympics

London will host the 2012 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee announced the decision on July 6 in Singapore. It was the closest race to decide the venue of the Games in Olympics history. Up to the last minutes of the final decision it looked like Paris, the longtime favorite, would win. However, in the final round of voting London managed to edge its rival by 54 to 50 votes. Crowds in London erupted with joy. Meanwhile, Parisians that had gathered to celebrate a Paris victory went home in stunned silence.

It is the first time the Games will be held in London since 1948. Organizers gathered an impressive collection of high profile sporting and political figures to support London. A huge boost came when Nelson Mandela backed the British capital. Other big names who championed London were Australian Olympic champion Kathy Freeman, England’s soccer captain David Beckham and Prime Minister Tony Blair. He took time off from the G8 summit to dash to Singapore. His eleventh-hour visit certainly paid dividends.

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