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European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize (13th October, 2012)


 

The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing and maintaining peace on a continent that was torn apart by horrific wars in the last century. Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman, said: "The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a 70-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today, war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners." The BBC's Gavin Hewitt said the EU was set up "to make war impossible again on the continent". He added: "That has been the EU's outstanding achievement."

Critics are arguing the decision to award the EU the Prize is untimely, given the economic and social chaos sweeping many European countries. However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, gladly welcomed the award, saying that "even in tense, difficult times, the European Union remains an inspiration for countries and people all over the world." He added: "This is indeed a great honour for the 500 million citizens of Europe." The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the award recognised the EU as the "biggest peacemaker in history." Other nominees for this year's prize included WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

WARM-UPS

1. NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Nobel Peace Prize. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

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

 

maintaining peace / torn apart / horrific wars / dreadful suffering / unthinkable / decision / untimely / social chaos / difficult times / inspiration / peacemaker

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

3. NOBEL PRIZES: What do you think the rules should be? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What should the winner have done?

Who should win?

Peace

 

 

Medicine

 

 

Literature

 

 

Economics

 

 

Physics

 

 

Chemistry

 

 

4. EU: Students A strongly believe The European Union is a worthy winner of the award; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. "NEW" PRIZES: Which of these "new" Nobel Prizes are best? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often.

  • Nobel Prize for Volunteerism
  • Nobel Prize for Business
  • Nobel Prize for Doing The Right Thing
  • Nobel Prize for Caring
  • Nobel Prize for Music
  • Nobel Prize for Sport
  • Nobel Prize for Environmentalism
  • Nobel Prize for Bravery

6. PEACE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'peace'. 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 EU won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its economic stability.

T / F

b.

The Nobel chairman said Europe suffered during a 70-year-long war.

T / F

c.

The chairman suggested Germany and France would never fight in a war.

T / F

d.

A BBC spokesperson said the EU's biggest achievement was its euro currency.

T / F

e.

Some people are saying now is a bad time to give the EU the Nobel Prize.

T / F

f.

The EU boss said the Union inspired many other countries around the world.

T / F

g.

Another EU leader said Europe was the biggest peacemaker ever in the world.

T / F

h.

WikiLeaks was also nominated for the award, but not its founder.

T / F

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

1.

maintaining

a.

hurt

2

horrific

b.

privilege

3.

suffering

c.

premature

4.

unthinkable

d.

acknowledged

5.

outstanding

e.

preserving

6.

untimely

f.

disorder

7.

chaos

g.

superb

8.

gladly

h.

terrible

9.

honour

i.

happily

10.

recognised

j.

unimaginable

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

1.

a continent that was torn

a.

peacemaker in history

2

The dreadful

b.

achievement

3.

well-

c.

many European countries

4.

building up mutual

d.

an inspiration

5.

outstanding

e.

confidence

6.

the decision to award the EU the Prize

f.

for this year's prize

7.

social chaos sweeping

g.

aimed efforts

8.

the European Union remains

h.

apart by horrific wars

9.

the "biggest

i.

is untimely

10.

Other nominees

j.

suffering in World War II


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing and maintaining peace on a continent that was            (1) ____________ apart by (2) ____________ wars in the last century. Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman, said: "The dreadful (3) ____________ in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a 70-year period, Germany and France had (4) ____________ three wars. Today, war between Germany and France is (5) ____________. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up (6) ____________ confidence, historical enemies can become close partners." The BBC's Gavin Hewitt said the EU was set up "to (7) ____________ war impossible again on the continent". He added: "That has been the EU's (8) ____________ achievement."

 

 

 

fought
horrific
make
unthinkable
torn
outstanding
suffering
mutual

Critics are arguing the decision to award the EU the Prize is       (9) ____________, given the economic and social chaos         (10) ____________ many European countries. However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission,          (11) ____________ welcomed the award, saying that "even in (12) ____________, difficult times, the European Union remains an (13) ____________ for countries and people all over the world." He added: "This is indeed a great honour for the 500 million (14) ____________ of Europe." The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the award recognised the EU as the "biggest (15) ____________ in history." Other (16) ____________ for this year's prize included WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

 

 

tense
peacemaker
sweeping
nominees
untimely
inspiration
citizens
gladly

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing and maintaining peace on a continent that was (1) ___________________ wars in the last century. Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman, said: "The (2) ____________________ World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over (3) ____________________, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today, war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through (4) ____________________ and by building (5) ____________________, historical enemies can become close partners." The BBC's Gavin Hewitt said the EU was set up "to make war impossible again on the continent". He added: "That has been the EU's     (6) ____________________."

Critics are arguing the (7) ____________________ the EU the Prize is untimely, given the economic and (8) ____________________ many European countries. However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, (9) __________________ award, saying that "even in tense, difficult times, the European Union (10) __________________ for countries and people all over the world." He added: "This is indeed a great honour for the (11) ____________________ of Europe." The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the award recognised the EU as the "(12) ____________________ history." Other nominees for this year's prize included WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'peace' and 'prize'.

peace

prize

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • bringing
  • torn
  • need
  • shows
  • impossible
  • achievement
  • arguing
  • welcomed
  • tense
  • great
  • biggest
  • founder

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Nobel Peace Prize 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.


 
 

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 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 term 'Nobel Peace Prize'?

c)

What do you think of the decision to award the EU the prize?

d)

Are there countries in the world who would be shocked at the EU winning the Nobel Peace Prize?

e)

Is the EU a worthy winner?

f)

Other nominees included WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko. Would one of these have been a worthier winner?

g)

What do you think of the concept of a prize for peace?

h)

What do you know about the controversies surrounding past winners?

i)

How big an achievement is peace in Europe?

j)

Do you think there could ever be a European war again?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think the awarding of the prize to the EU is untimely?

c)

NATO probably did more to keep the peace in Europe. Should it have been awarded the prize?

d)

In what ways might the EU be an inspiration to the world?

e)

Do you think EU citizens will feel honoured by the award?

f)

What do you think of the idea of a Middle East Union, a South Asian Union or a South American Union similar to the European Union?

g)

Who do you think should have won the award this year?

h)

Is the EU the "biggest peacemaker in history"?

i)

What reaction would there have been if the award had gone to WikiLeaks or Julian Assange?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the head of the Nobel deciding committee?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing and (1) ____ peace on a continent that was torn (2) ____ by horrific wars in the last century. Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman, said: "The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the (3) ____ for a new Europe. Over a 70-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today, war between Germany and France is (4) ____. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up (5) ____ confidence, historical enemies can become close partners." The BBC's Gavin Hewitt said the EU was set up "to make war impossible again on the continent". He added: "That has been the EU's (6) ____ achievement."

Critics are arguing the decision to award the EU the Prize is (7) ____, given the economic and social chaos (8) ____ many European countries. However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, gladly welcomed the award, saying that "even in tense, difficult times, the European Union remains an inspiration (9) ____ countries and people all over the world." He (10) ____: "This is indeed a great honour for the 500 million citizens of Europe." The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the award recognised the EU        (11) ____ the "biggest peacemaker in history." Other nominees for this year's prize included WikiLeaks and its (12) ____ Julian Assange.

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

1.

(a)

maintained

(b)

maintenance

(c)

maintains

(d)

maintaining

2.

(a)

partition

(b)

parting

(c)

parted

(d)

apart

3.

(a)

must

(b)

need

(c)

urgent

(d)

should

4.

(a)

thoughtless

(b)

thoughtful

(c)

unthinkable

(d)

think tank

5.

(a)

mutual

(b)

sought

(c)

lack

(d)

tribal

6.

(a)

outstanding

(b)

outdated

(c)

outlasted

(d)

out-distance

7.

(a)

annually

(b)

minutely

(c)

on time

(d)

untimely

8.

(a)

sweeping

(b)

dusting

(c)

brushing

(d)

wiping

9.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

with

10.

(a)

forwarded

(b)

amended

(c)

added

(d)

replied

11.

(a)

of

(b)

by

(c)

as

(d)

at

12.

(a)

bounder

(b)

founder

(c)

flounder

(d)

pounder

WRITING

Write about Nobel Peace Prize 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 the European Union. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Make a poster about the Prize. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. 2012: Write a magazine article about the 2012 prize going to the EU. Include imaginary interviews with someone who thinks it was a good decision and someone who thinks it was a bad decision.

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 Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman. Ask him three questions about the awarding of the prize to the European Union. Give him three of your opinions on this. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

maintaining

a.

preserving

2

horrific

b.

terrible

3.

suffering

c.

hurt

4.

unthinkable

d.

unimaginable

5.

outstanding

e.

superb

6.

untimely

f.

premature

7.

chaos

g.

disorder

8.

gladly

h.

happily

9.

honour

i.

privilege

10.

recognised

j.

acknowledged

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a continent that was torn

a.

apart by horrific wars

2

The dreadful

b.

suffering in World War II

3.

well-

c.

aimed efforts

4.

building up mutual

d.

confidence

5.

outstanding

e.

achievement

6.

the decision to award the EU the Prize

f.

is untimely

7.

social chaos sweeping

g.

many European countries

8.

the European Union remains

h.

an inspiration

9.

the "biggest

i.

peacemaker in history

10.

Other nominees

j.

for this year's prize

GAP FILL:

European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize

The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing and maintaining peace on a continent that was (1) torn apart by (2) horrific wars in the last century. Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman, said: "The dreadful (3) suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a 70-year period, Germany and France had (4) fought three wars. Today, war between Germany and France is (5) unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up (6) mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners." The BBC's Gavin Hewitt said the EU was set up "to (7) make war impossible again on the continent". He added: "That has been the EU's (8) outstanding achievement."

Critics are arguing the decision to award the EU the Prize is (9) untimely, given the economic and social chaos (10) sweeping many European countries. However, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, (11) gladly welcomed the award, saying that "even in (12) tense, difficult times, the European Union remains an (13) inspiration for countries and people all over the world." He added: "This is indeed a great honour for the 500 million (14) citizens of Europe." The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said the award recognised the EU as the "biggest (15) peacemaker in history." Other (16) nominees for this year's prize included WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 – d

2 – d

3 – b

4 – c

5 – a

6 – a

7 – d

8 – a

9 –b

10 – c

11 – c

12 – b

 

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