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Date: Oct 19, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:36 - 188 KB - 16kbps)
 
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THE ARTICLE

The global anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has reported corruption is increasing around the world. A TI press release reports there is serious corruption in most of the world’s countries. TI’s yearly survey questions businesspeople and public officials to find out how corrupt a country is. Bangladesh and Chad finished bottom as the most corrupt countries, while Iceland finished top. Finland and New Zealand were the second and third cleanest nations. Corruption is declining in Turkey and Nigeria, but increasing in Russia and Canada.

TI chairman Peter Eigen said: “Corruption is a major cause of poverty as well as a barrier to [reducing] it.” He also said corruption and poverty lock people in a “cycle of misery”. Mr. Eigen warned corruption must be reduced to free people from poverty. David Nussbaum, TI’s chief executive, stated: “Corruption isn’t a natural disaster: it is the cold…theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to protect themselves.” He also said leaders needed to keep their promises to help poor people. The world has made a target to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

WARM-UPS

1. POVERTY: In pairs / groups, talk about what it must be like to live in poverty. What do poor people do every day? How often are they happy? What do they think about their future? What can they do to escape poverty?

2. CORRUPT PEOPLE: What kinds of people are corrupt? In pairs / groups, talk about how corrupt you think the following people might be. What bad things could they do? Who suffers from their corruption? Are these people corrupt in your country? How about in other countries?

  • A country’s leader
  • Police officers
  • Journalists
  • Local government officials
  • Doctors
  • Customs officers
  • Sports officials
  • Election officials

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

Corruption / transparency / rich countries / Bangladesh / Iceland / Nigeria / Canada / poverty / misery / natural disasters / theft / keeping promises / halving poverty

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

4. POOR PERSON: You have suddenly become very poor. Walk around the class and talk to other “poor” students about your life.

5. CORRUPTION: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “corruption”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. PETTY OR GRAND? In pairs / groups, decide whether the following are examples of petty or grand corruption.

  1. Giving a policemen money to escape a speeding fine.
  2. A construction company boss rewards a politician to win a big contract.
  3. A country’s leader puts aid money into his own bank account.
  4. A company employee finds a way to secretly receive two salaries a month.
  5. A tobacco company illegally gives money to a political party.
  6. A customs official allows a flu-infected chicken into the country for $100.
  7. A company CEO fakes accounts, which causes the company’s collapse.

7. CAUSES: What are the causes of poverty? Talk about the following with your partner(s). Put them in order of the biggest causes of poverty.

Laziness    Corruption    Natural disasters    War    Geography     Globalization    History


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

An anti-corruption organization issued a report on world corruption.

T / F

b.

Corruption is in poor countries only.

T / F

c.

Iceland is the least corrupt country in the world.

T / F

d.

Nigeria experienced increasing corruption.

T / F

e.

The report says corruption is a minor cause of poverty.

T / F

f.

A top official said corruption was a natural disaster.

T / F

g.

The official said leaders must keep their promises to help poor people.

T / F

h.

The world has a target to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

T / F

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

a.

corruption

media

b.

increasing

need

c.

press

stealing

d.

survey

top

e.

declining

rising

f.

major

aim

g.

poverty

falling

h.

misery

dishonesty

i.

theft

unhappiness

j.

target

questionnaire

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

a.

global anti-corruption

around the world

b.

corruption is increasing

officials

c.

yearly

least able to protect themselves

d.

businesspeople and public

disaster

e.

Corruption is declining in

organization

f.

Corruption is a major

Turkey and Nigeria

g.

free people from

halve extreme poverty by 2015

h.

natural

survey

i.

women and children who are

poverty

j.

The world has made a target to

cause of poverty


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

ODD WORD OUT: Strike through the incorrect choice in each group of three italicized words.

Corruption widespread in 70 countries

The global / worldwide / Earth anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has reported corruption is increasing / rising / upping around the world. A TI press release reports there is unsmiling / major / serious corruption in most of the world’s countries. TI’s yearly / annoying / annual survey questions businesspeople and public officials to find out how corrupt a country is. Bangladesh and Chad finished last / bottom / least as the most corrupt countries, while Iceland finished top. Finland and New Zealand were the second and third cleanest nations. Corruption is falling / failing / declining in Turkey and Nigeria, but increasing in Russia and Canada.

TI chairman Peter Eigen said: “Corruption is a major cause of poverty as well as a barrier / hurdle / carrier to [reducing] it.” He also said corruption and poverty lock people in a “cycle / chain / lock of misery”. Mr. Eigen warned corruption must be reduced to free / release / freedom people from poverty. David Nussbaum, TI’s chief executive, stated: “Corruption isn’t a natural disaster: it is the cold…steel / stealing / theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to protect themselves.” He also said leaders needed to keep / stick to / shake their promises to help poor people. The world has made a target to halve / have / cut extreme poverty by 2015.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Corruption widespread in 70 countries

The ________ anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has ________ corruption is increasing around the world. A TI press release reports there is ________ corruption in most of the world’s countries. TI’s yearly survey questions businesspeople and public ________ to find out how corrupt a country is. Bangladesh and Chad finished bottom as the most corrupt countries, while Iceland ________ top. Finland and New Zealand were the second and third ________ nations. Corruption is declining in Turkey and Nigeria, but increasing in Russia and Canada.

TI chairman Peter Eigen said: “Corruption is a ________ cause of poverty as well as a barrier to [reducing] it.” He also said corruption and ________ lock people in a “cycle of ________”. Mr. Eigen warned corruption must be reduced to free people from poverty. David Nussbaum, TI’s chief executive, stated: “Corruption isn’t a natural ________: it is the cold…theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to ________ themselves.” He also said leaders needed to keep their ________ to help poor people. The world has made a target to ________ extreme poverty by 2015.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. ODD WORD OUT: 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. STUDENT “CORRUPTION” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about corruption and poverty.

  • 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:

  • anti-
  • increasing
  • yearly
  • bottom
  • Iceland
  • declining
  • cause
  • lock
  • free
  • disaster
  • promises
  • target

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you think of corruption?
  3. Do you think you are corruptible?
  4. If you had a lot of power, would you think about moving money into your bank account?
  5. What kinds of corruption exist in your country?
  6. What’s the biggest corruption scandal you can remember?
  7. Do you think the world is becoming a more or a less corrupt place?
  8. How serious is corruption?
  9. What can be done to stop corruption?
  10. Do you think your country’s leader is corrupt?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. What do you think causes corruption?
  4. Why do you think corruption is rising in Canada?
  5. How can the world stop corrupt leaders from putting aid money in their own bank accounts?
  6. How important is transparency?
  7. Do you think corruption that increases poverty should become a crime against humanity?
  8. Do your country’s leaders always keep their promises?
  9. Do you think the world can halve extreme poverty by 2015?
  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

CORRUPTION: Look at the types and examples of corruption below. In pairs / groups, decide how serious each type of corruption is and what the penalty should be.
 

TYPE

EXAMPLE

PENALTY
 

Bribery

Person A gives a customs officer $100. The customs officer allows person A to take illegal drugs into the country

 

Extortion

(blackmail)

A construction company boss wants to win a construction contract. He uses threats and violence against a local politician to get the contract.

 

Favoritism

(nepotism)

A head of department in a company wants to help his friend get a good job. He chooses his unqualified and inexperienced friend for an available job instead of highly experienced and qualified people.

 

Embezzlement

(stealing)

The United Nations gives emergency aid money to country X. The leader of country X puts a lot of the money in his personal bank account.

 

Conflict of interest

A top politician who is on the board of directors of an oil company. He uses his power to win the oil company a major contract.

 

Fraud

(cheating)

A drug company executive lies to a newspaper reporter about an impending outbreak of a virus. That information increases the price and sales of the drug.

 

Illegal “gifts” of money to political parties

A tobacco company executive gives an illegal $100,000 to a political party. The political party has suggested it might cut taxes on cigarettes.

 

Change partners and talk about what you discussed with your previous partners.

Show each other your penalties and reach agreement on just one penalty for each type of corruption.

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 organization Transparency International. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. POVERTY: Make a poster showing the places in the world where people suffer from extreme poverty. Think of some solutions to help the world’s poor people escape from poverty. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all think of similar solutions?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the leader of your country. Tell him/her your concerns about corruption in your country. Make suggestions on how to fight corruption. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about or suggest similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

corruption

dishonesty

b.

increasing

rising

c.

press

media

d.

survey

questionnaire

e.

declining

falling

f.

major

top

g.

poverty

need

h.

misery

unhappiness

i.

theft

stealing

j.

target

aim

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

global anti-corruption

organization

b.

corruption is increasing

around the world

c.

yearly

survey

d.

businesspeople and public

officials

e.

Corruption is declining in

Turkey and Nigeria

f.

Corruption is a major

cause of poverty

g.

free people from

poverty

h.

natural

disaster

i.

women and children who are

least able to protect themselves

j.

The world has made a target to

halve extreme poverty by 2015

ODD WORD OUT:

Corruption widespread in 70 countries

The global / worldwide / Earth anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has reported corruption is increasing / rising / upping around the world. A TI press release reports there is unsmiling / major / serious corruption in most of the world’s countries. TI’s yearly / annoying / annual survey questions businesspeople and public officials to find out how corrupt a country is. Bangladesh and Chad finished last / bottom / least as the most corrupt countries, while Iceland finished top. Finland and New Zealand were the second and third cleanest nations. Corruption is falling / failing / declining in Turkey and Nigeria, but increasing in Russia and Canada.

TI chairman Peter Eigen said: “Corruption is a major cause of poverty as well as a barrier / hurdle / carrier to [reducing] it.” He also said corruption and poverty lock people in a “cycle / chain / lock of misery”. Mr. Eigen warned corruption must be reduced to free / release / freedom people from poverty. David Nussbaum, TI’s chief executive, stated: “Corruption isn’t a natural disaster: it is the cold…steel / stealing / theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to protect themselves.” He also said leaders needed to keep / stick to / shake their promises to help poor people. The world has made a target to halve / have / cut extreme poverty by 2015.

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