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Date: Aug 19, 2007
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Underage drinking increasing in Britain

Alcohol abuse and teenage crime is becoming an increasing problem in Britain. A senior police officer has recommended that children should be taken into the care of local government authorities if parents refuse to take responsibility for their child’s underage drinking. This recommendation comes a week after the murder of Garry Newlove, a 47-year-old father of three. He was murdered by a gang of youths outside his own home after telling them to stop vandalizing his house. Four teenagers have been arrested and charged with his murder. Leanne Dysart, a neighbour of the murdered man, described her feelings: "What happened…has rocked this town…You never think this will happen [on] your own doorstep,” she said.

The senior police officer called for urgent action. He said: "There should be some…system to force some parents to take up the offers of support which we give them to help them deal with their children who have been drinking.” He added: "This should be a child protection issue and should be dealt with as part of care proceedings." He also called for the legal drinking age in Britain to be raised to 21 – young people can currently drink alcohol when they are 18. He told reporters he was often shocked when he took drunken teenagers home as some parents didn’t care about their children’s behaviour. Many of Britain’s police forces and over 200 politicians agree that tough action needs to be taken to stop teenagers going out of control.

WARM-UPS

1. TEEN DRINKING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about alcohol and teenage drinking. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

abuse / teenage crime / problems / recommendations / vandalism / murder / urgent action / social support / legal drinking age / going out of control

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. LEGAL AGES: In pairs / groups, discuss the (legal) ages you think people can do the following. What are they in your country?

  • drink alcohol
  • smoke cigarettes
  • get a part-time job
  • drive
  • get married
  • leave school
  • own a video console
  • eat fast food

4. OUT OF CONTROL: Are teenagers in your country out of control? In pairs / groups, discuss these problems in your town / other parts of the world. What should governments do to keep control?

  • underage drinking
  • drug abuse
  • teenage pregnancies
  • truancy
  • shoplifting
  • attacks on teachers
  • silly haircuts
  • vandalism

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

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think the legal drinking age should be 21. Students B think alcohol should be banned completely. Change partners often. Share your findings.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

More and more British teens are drinking more and more milk.

T / F

b.

A police officer said parents should be more responsible.

T / F

c.

A father of three vandalized his own house when he was drunk.

T / F

d.

A murder by a gang of teenagers rocked a town.

T / F

e.

Police forces are offering to help teenagers who drink too much.

T / F

f.

A police officer wants the legal drinking age reduced to 21.

T / F

g.

The police officer said teenagers and parents were often drunk.

T / F

h.

Over 200 politicians feel there is no need for new laws on drinking.

T / F

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

1.

abuse

a.

conduct

2

care

b.

damaging

3.

youths

c.

presently

4.

vandalizing

d.

handle

5.

urgent

e.

addiction

6.

deal with

f.

activities

7.

proceedings

g.

life-and-death

8.

currently

h.

supervision

9.

behahiour

i.

haywire

10.

out of control

j.

juveniles

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

1.

teenage crime is becoming

a.

in Britain to be raised

2

children should be taken into the care

b.

on your own doorstep

3.

a 47-year-old father

c.

of control

4.

What happened has

d.

about their children’s behaviour

5.

You never think this will happen

e.

an increasing problem in Britain

6.

The senior police officer called

f.

of three

7.

help them deal

g.

for urgent action

8.

called for the legal drinking age

h.

of local government

9.

parents didn’t care

i.

rocked this town

10.

stop teenagers going out

j.

with their children

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Underage drinking increasing in Britain
 

Alcohol __________ and teenage crime is becoming an increasing problem in Britain. A __________ police officer has recommended that children should be taken into the __________ of local government authorities if parents refuse to take responsibility for their child’s underage drinking. This recommendation comes a week after the murder of Garry Newlove, a 47-year-old father of __________. He was murdered by a gang of youths outside his own home after telling them to stop __________ his house. Four teenagers have been arrested and __________ with his murder. Leanne Dysart, a neighbour of the murdered man, described her feelings: "What happened…has __________ this town…You never think this will happen [on] your own __________,” she said.

 

 

 

doorstep
three
vandalizing
care
abuse
charged
senior
rocked

The senior police officer called for __________ action. He said: "There should be some…system to __________ some parents to take up the offers of support which we give them to help them __________ with their children who have been drinking.” He added: "This should be a child protection __________ and should be dealt with as part of care proceedings." He also called for the legal drinking __________ in Britain to be raised to 21 – young people can currently drink alcohol when they are 18. He told reporters he was often shocked when he took __________ teenagers home as some parents didn’t care about their children’s behaviour. Many of Britain’s police __________ and over 200 politicians agree that tough action needs to be taken to stop teenagers going out of __________.

 

 

drunken issue
urgent
control
age
force
forces
deal

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Underage drinking increasing in Britain

Alcohol abuse and teenage crime ___________________________ problem in Britain. A senior police officer has recommended that children should be ___________________________ government authorities if parents refuse to take responsibility for their child’s underage drinking. This recommendation ___________________________ of Garry Newlove, a 47-year-old father of three. He was murdered by a gang of youths outside his own home after telling ___________________________ house. Four teenagers have been arrested and charged with his murder. Leanne Dysart, a neighbour of the murdered man, described her feelings: "What happened…has rocked this town…You never think this will ___________________________,” she said.

The senior police officer ___________________________. He said: "There should be some…system to force some parents to take up the offers of support ___________________________ them deal with their children who have been drinking.” He added: "This ___________________________ and should be dealt with as part of care proceedings." He also called for the legal drinking age in Britain to be raised to 21 – ___________________________ alcohol when they are 18. He told reporters he was often shocked when he took drunken teenagers home as some parents didn’t care about their children’s behaviour. Many of Britain’s police forces and over 200 politicians _______________________________ taken to stop teenagers going out of control.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

alcohol

abuse

 

 

 

 

  • 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 exactly how these were used in the text:

  • increasing
  • care
  • refuse
  • three
  • charged
  • doorstep
  • force
  • deal
  • proceedings
  • raised
  • drunken
  • control

STUDENT ALCOHOL SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about ALCOHOL ABUSE 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.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. What springs to mind when you hear about underage drinking?
  3. Is underage drinking a problem in your country?
  4. Do you think teenagers who drink should be taken into care?
  5. What responsibilities do parents have to stop their children drinking?
  6. Do you think parents should be punished if they give alcohol to their children?
  7. Would you tell a gang of drunken youths to leave your property alone?
  8. Has anything ever happened that rocked your town?
  9. What bad things have happened on your doorstep?
  10. What punishment should the four teenagers receive for murdering the father of three?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Do you think it is the police’s job to support underage drinkers?
  3. Do children in your country do things they are too young to do?
  4. What do you think the legal drinking age should be?
  5. What bad experiences have you had or witnessed involving drunk people and drunk teenagers?
  6. Should police take away the children of parents who are drunk?
  7. What social problems does underage drinking cause society?
  8. Do you think alcohol is dangerous?
  9. What questions would you like to ask an underage drinker?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

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

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

Underage drinking increasing in Britain

Alcohol abuse and teenage (1) ____ is becoming an increasing problem in Britain. A senior police officer has recommended that children should be taken into the (2) ____ of local government authorities if parents refuse to take responsibility (3) ____ their child’s underage drinking. This recommendation comes a week after the murder of Garry Newlove, a 47-year-old father of (4) ____. He was murdered by a gang of youths outside his own home after telling them to stop vandalizing his house. Four teenagers have been arrested and (5) ____ with his murder. Leanne Dysart, a neighbour of the murdered man, described her feelings: "What happened…has (6) ____ this town…You never think this will happen [on] your own doorstep,” she said.

The senior police officer called for urgent action. He said: "There should be some…system (7) ____ force some parents to take (8) ____ the offers of support which we give them to help them deal with their children who have been drinking.” He added: "This should be a child protection issue and should be dealt (9) ____ as part of care proceedings." He also called for the legal drinking (10) ____ in Britain to be raised to 21 – young people can currently drink alcohol when they are 18. He told reporters he was often shocked when he took (11) ____ teenagers home as some parents didn’t care about their children’s behaviour. Many of Britain’s police forces and over 200 politicians agree that tough action needs to be taken to stop teenagers going (12) ____ of control.

1.

(a)

criminal law

(b)

criminalize

(c)

criminal

(d)

crime

2.

(a)

care

(b)

caring

(c)

cares

(d)

careful

3.

(a)

of

(b)

with

(c)

for

(d)

by

4.

(a)

third

(b)

three

(c)

thrice

(d)

threes

5.

(a)

charged

(b)

charging

(c)

charge

(d)

charges

6.

(a)

rocks

(b)

rocked

(c)

rocking

(d)

rocker

7.

(a)

would

(b)

will

(c)

that

(d)

to

8.

(a)

in

(b)

down

(c)

up

(d)

round

9.

(a)

for

(b)

by

(c)

with

(d)

in

10.

(a)

age

(b)

year

(c)

birthday

(d)

old

11.

(a)

drinks

(b)

drank

(c)

drinker

(d)

drunken

12.

(a)

whole

(b)

out

(c)

all

(d)

in

WRITING: 

Write about underage drinking for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

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 about underage drinking. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. AGE POSTER: Make a poster about the legal ages at which young people can do things in different countries. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the effects of underage drinking on society. Include imaginary interviews with an underage drinker, a police officer and a victim of crime.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the police. Ask him/her three questions about underage drinking. Give him/her three pieces of advice about what he/she should do to help reduce underage drinking. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

abuse

a.

addiction

2

care

b.

supervision

3.

youths

c.

juveniles

4.

vandalizing

d.

damaging

5.

urgent

e.

life-and-death

6.

deal with

f.

handle

7.

proceedings

g.

activities

8.

currently

h.

presently

9.

behahiour

i.

conduct

10.

out of control

j.

haywire

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

teenage crime is becoming

a.

an increasing problem in Britain

2

children should be taken into the care

b.

of local government

3.

a 47-year-old father

c.

of three

4.

What happened has

d.

rocked this town

5.

You never think this will happen

e.

on your own doorstep

6.

The senior police officer called

f.

for urgent action

7.

help them deal

g.

with their children

8.

called for the legal drinking age

h.

in Britain to be raised

9.

parents didn’t care

i.

about their children’s behaviour

10.

stop teenagers going out

j.

of control

GAP FILL:

Underage drinking increasing in Britain

Alcohol abuse and teenage crime is becoming an increasing problem in Britain. A senior police officer has recommended that children should be taken into the care of local government authorities if parents refuse to take responsibility for their child’s underage drinking. This recommendation comes a week after the murder of Garry Newlove, a 47-year-old father of three. He was murdered by a gang of youths outside his own home after telling them to stop vandalizing his house. Four teenagers have been arrested and charged with his murder. Leanne Dysart, a neighbour of the murdered man, described her feelings: "What happened…has rocked this town…You never think this will happen [on] your own doorstep,” she said.

The senior police officer called for urgent action. He said: "There should be some…system to force some parents to take up the offers of support which we give them to help them deal with their children who have been drinking.” He added: "This should be a child protection issue and should be dealt with as part of care proceedings." He also called for the legal drinking age in Britain to be raised to 21 – young people can currently drink alcohol when they are 18. He told reporters he was often shocked when he took drunken teenagers home as some parents didn’t care about their children’s behaviour. Many of Britain’s police forces and over 200 politicians agree that tough action needs to be taken to stop teenagers going out of control.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 -a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - a

6 - b

7 -d

8 - c

9 -c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

 

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