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Merkel - Multiculturalism “Failed” in Germany (17th October, 2010)


 

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has told politicians that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed". She was speaking at a conference attended by her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Saturday. Her speech was a shocking assessment of multiculturalism in Germany. She said: "At the beginning of the 60s, our country asked foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... We fooled ourselves a while and said: 'They won't stay… at some time they will go’” She went on: “But this isn't reality… And of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and to live side-by-side [happily]... has failed, utterly failed." Ms Merkel also said that immigrants to Germany had to learn German.


The chancellor’s comments come after a series of anti-immigrant feeling from other German politicians. Perhaps the strongest comment came from Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the CSU. He said the concept of multiculturalism was “dead”. Another politician, Stephan Kramer criticized the CSU leader, saying his ideas were "not only petty but outright irresponsible”. He attacked the current debates on immigration for being “hysterical”. A recent study into immigration showed that over 30 per cent of Germans had negative feelings towards immigrants. The report, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, revealed that 34.3 per cent of those surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants migrated to the country just for the social benefits.


WARM-UPS

1. MULTICULTURALISM: Walk around the class and talk to other students about multiculturalism. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

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

 

politicians / attempts / multicultural / failed / fooled / approach / live side-by-side / comments / anti-immigrant feeling / concept / petty / negative feeling / social benefits

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

3. MULTICULTURAL: What are the pros and cons? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Pros

Cons

Jobs

 

 

Religious tolerance

 

 

Global culture

 

 

Food

 

 

Language

 

 

Peace

 

 

4. SIDE-BY-SIDE: Students A strongly believe all people can live side-by-side happily; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. IMMIGRANT: What would you worry about if you emigrated? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the biggest worry at the top.

  • job
  • money
  • housing
  • new food culture
  • the local population
  • religious freedom
  • language
  • safety

6. SOCIETY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘society’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

The German leader has said multiculturalism isn’t working in Germany.

T / F

b.

She was speaking to a gathering of several thousand immigrants.

T / F

c.

Ms Merkel said people in the 60’s thought immigrants wouldn’t stay.

T / F

d.

Ms Merkel said it wasn’t necessary for immigrants to learn German.

T / F

e.

Other German politicians have aired anti-immigration feelings.

T / F

f.

Ms Merkel is the sister of the leader of the CSU Party.

T / F

g.

A man called Stephan Kramer suggested people were over-reacting.

T / F

h.

All of Germany’s immigrants migrated there for the social benefits.

T / F

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

1.

attempts

a.

showed

2

utterly

b.

kidded

3.

assessment

c.

sequence

4.

fooled

d.

judgment

5.

reality

e.

trivial

6.

series

f.

tries

7.

concept

g.

arguments

8.

petty

h.

totally

9.

debates

i.

truth

10.

revealed

j.

idea

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

She was speaking at a conference

a.

irresponsible

2

a shocking assessment of

b.

of the 60s

3.

At the beginning

c.

social benefits

4.

We fooled ourselves

d.

side-by-side

5.

to live

e.

immigrant feeling

6.

a series of anti-

f.

attended by her party

7.

the concept of multiculturalism

g.

a while

8.

not only petty but outright

h.

towards immigrants

9.

negative feelings

i.

multiculturalism

10.

just for the

j.

was “dead”

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has told politicians that ____________ to build a multicultural society in Germany have "____________ failed". She was speaking at a conference attended by her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Saturday. Her ____________ was a shocking assessment of multiculturalism in Germany. She said: "At the beginning of the 60s, our country asked ____________ workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... We ____________ ourselves a while and said: 'They won't stay… at some time they will go’” She went on: “But this isn't ____________ … And of course, the approach to ____________ a multicultural society and to live ____________ -by-side [happily]... has failed, utterly failed." Ms Merkel also said that immigrants to Germany had to learn German.

 

 

 

reality
foreign
utterly
side
attempts
build
speech
fooled

The chancellor’s comments come after a ____________ of anti-immigrant feeling from other German politicians. Perhaps the strongest comment came from Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian ____________ party, the CSU. He said the ____________ of multiculturalism was “dead”. Another politician, Stephan Kramer criticized the CSU leader, saying his ideas were "not only ____________ but outright irresponsible”. He attacked the ____________ debates on immigration for being “hysterical”. A recent study into immigration ____________ that over 30 per cent of Germans had negative feelings towards immigrants. The report, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, ____________ that 34.3 per cent of those surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants ____________ to the country just for the social benefits.

 

 

revealed
petty
sister
showed
series
migrated
concept
current

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has told _____________________ build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed". She was speaking at a conference _____________________, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Saturday. Her speech was _____________________ of multiculturalism in Germany. She said: "At the beginning of the 60s, our country asked foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... _____________________ a while and said: 'They won't stay… at some time they will go’” She went on: “But this isn't reality… And of course, the _____________________ a multicultural society and to live side-by-side [happily]... has failed, utterly failed." Ms Merkel _____________________ to Germany had to learn German.

The chancellor’s comments _____________________ of anti-immigrant feeling from other German politicians. Perhaps the strongest comment came from Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the CSU. He _____________________ multiculturalism was “dead”. Another politician, Stephan Kramer criticized the CSU leader, saying his ideas were "not only petty _______________________”. He attacked the current _____________________ for being “hysterical”. A recent study into immigration showed that over 30 per cent of Germans _____________________ towards immigrants. The report, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, revealed that 34.3 per cent _____________________ believed Germany's 16 million immigrants migrated to the country just for the social benefits.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

multi

cultural

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • attempts
  • attended
  • shocking
  • fooled
  • reality
  • learn
  • series
  • strongest
  • concept
  • recent
  • negative
  • social

STUDENT MULTICULTURALISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about multiculturalism 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.

MULTICULTURALISM DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘multiculturalism’?

c)

How multicultural is your country?

d)

Would you like your country to be more or less multicultural?

e)

What do you think of Angela Merkel’s comments?

f)

What now for multiculturalism in Germany?

g)

Why did people in the 60s believe immigrants wouldn’t stay?

h)

Why can’t people live side-by-side?

i)

What are the advantages of multiculturalism?

j)

Should migrants have to pass a language test in the country in which they want to live?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is there anti-immigrant feeling in your country?

c)

In Dubai, 80% of the population are migrants. Should this be a role model?

d)

How can the concept of multiculturalism be “dead”?

e)

Do you think Stephan Kramer is right when he said Horst Seehofer’s comments were petty?

f)

Germany needs immigrants for its economic success. Why are people complaining?

g)

Are people being hysterical when it comes to immigration?

h)

Can immigration be reversed?

i)

To which country would you like to migrate?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Angela Merkel?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has told politicians that (1) ____ to build a multicultural society in Germany have "(2) ____ failed". She was speaking at a conference attended by her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Saturday. Her speech was a (3) ____ assessment of multiculturalism in Germany. She said: "At the beginning of the 60s, our country asked foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... We (4) ____  ourselves a while and said: 'They won't stay… at some time they will go’” She went on: “But this isn't reality… And of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and to live side-(5) ____-side [happily]... has failed, utterly failed." Ms Merkel also said that immigrants (6) ____ Germany had to learn German.

The chancellor’s comments come after a (7) ____ of anti-immigrant feeling from other German politicians. Perhaps the strongest comment came from Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian (8) ____ party, the CSU. He said the concept of multiculturalism was “dead”. Another politician, Stephan Kramer criticized the CSU leader, (9) ____ his ideas were "not only petty but outright irresponsible”. He attacked the current debates (10) ____ immigration for being “hysterical”. A recent study into immigration showed that over 30 per cent of Germans had negative feelings towards immigrants. The report, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, revealed that 34.3 per cent of (11) ____ surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants (12) ____ to the country just for the social benefits.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

attempting

(b)

attempted

(c)

attempt

(d)

attempts

2.

(a)

utterly

(b)

utter

(c)

uttered

(d)

utters

3.

(a)

shock

(b)

shocking

(c)

shocker

(d)

shock tactics

4.

(a)

foolish

(b)

fools

(c)

fooled

(d)

fooling

5.

(a)

at

(b)

in

(c)

by

(d)

on

6.

(a)

on

(b)

to

(c)

by

(d)

at

7.

(a)

cereal

(b)

serials

(c)

serious

(d)

series

8.

(a)

sister

(b)

cousin

(c)

brother

(d)

grandfather

9.

(a)

said

(b)

saying

(c)

says

(d)

say

10.

(a)

in

(b)

as

(c)

by

(d)

on

11.

(a)

these

(b)

them

(c)

those

(d)

this

12.

(a)

migrated

(b)

migrates

(c)

migrate

(d)

migration

WRITING

Write about multiculturalism 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 out more about multiculturalism in Germany. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MULTICULTURALISM: Make a poster about multiculturalism and how we can live side-by-side happily. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MY COUNTRY: Write a magazine article about multiculturalism in your country. Include imaginary interviews with immigrants and locals.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Angela Merkel. Ask her three questions about multiculturalism. Give her three ideas on how to make it work. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

attempts

a.

tries

2

utterly

b.

totally

3.

assessment

c.

judgment

4.

fooled

d.

kidded

5.

reality

e.

truth

6.

series

f.

sequence

7.

concept

g.

idea

8.

petty

h.

trivial

9.

debates

i.

arguments

10.

revealed

j.

showed

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

She was speaking at a conference

a.

attended by her party

2

a shocking assessment of

b.

multiculturalism

3.

At the beginning

c.

of the 60s

4.

We fooled ourselves

d.

a while

5.

to live

e.

side-by-side

6.

a series of anti-

f.

immigrant feeling

7.

the concept of multiculturalism

g.

was “dead”

8.

not only petty but outright

h.

irresponsible

9.

negative feelings

i.

towards immigrants

10.

just for the

j.

social benefits

GAP FILL:

Merkel - Multiculturalism “failed” in Germany

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has told politicians that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed". She was speaking at a conference attended by her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Saturday. Her speech was a shocking assessment of multiculturalism in Germany. She said: "At the beginning of the 60s, our country asked foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country... We fooled ourselves a while and said: 'They won't stay… at some time they will go’” She went on: “But this isn't reality… And of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and to live side-by-side [happily]... has failed, utterly failed." Ms Merkel also said that immigrants to Germany had to learn German.

The chancellor’s comments come after a series of anti-immigrant feeling from other German politicians. Perhaps the strongest comment came from Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the CSU. He said the concept of multiculturalism was “dead”. Another politician, Stephan Kramer criticized the CSU leader, saying his ideas were "not only petty but outright irresponsible”. He attacked the current debates on immigration for being “hysterical”. A recent study into immigration showed that over 30 per cent of Germans had negative feelings towards immigrants. The report, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, revealed that 34.3 per cent of those surveyed believed Germany's 16 million immigrants migrated to the country just for the social benefits.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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