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Arabs Want Arabic as a WTO Language (3rd February, 2010)

Arab countries have asked for Arabic to be an official language of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The only official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish. WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters that Kuwait made the request to the WTO. Members of the organization are discussing it now. However, the request may not be successful. It would cost about $43 million a year to hire translators. If the WTO adds Arabic, China would probably ask the WTO to add Chinese too.

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It seems logical that Arabs want Arabic as a WTO language. More than 280 million people speak the language around the world. It is the world’s sixth most widely-spoken language. French isn’t even in the top ten. China has a good reason to ask for Chinese to be an official WTO language – there are over a billion Chinese speakers in the world. It may not be too long before the WTO languages change. The present three languages belong to a different time. Globalization means other countries are becoming more important.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

an official

a.

Organization

2

the World Trade

b.

add Chinese

3.

WTO

c.

the request

4.

Kuwait made

d.

language

5.

hire

e.

spokesman

6.

ask the WTO to

f.

translators

 

Paragraph 2

1.

It seems

a.

be too long

2

widely-

b.

top ten

3.

in the

c.

more important

4.

a good

d.

logical

5.

It may not

e.

spoken language

6.

becoming

f.

reason


LISTENING GAP FILL

Arab countries have asked for Arabic _______________ language of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The only official _______________ WTO are English, French and Spanish. WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters that Kuwait made the _______________ WTO. Members of the organization are discussing it now. However, the request may _______________. It _______________ $43 million a year to hire translators. If the WTO adds Arabic, China _______________ the WTO to add Chinese too.

It _______________ Arabs want Arabic as a WTO language. More than 280 million people speak the language around the world. It is _______________ most widely-spoken language. French isn’t even in the top ten. China has _______________ ask for Chinese to be an official WTO language – _______________ a billion Chinese speakers in the world. It _______________ long before the WTO languages change. The present three languages _______________ different time. Globalization means other countries are becoming more important.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Arab countries have (1) ____ for Arabic to be an official language of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The only official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish. WTO (2) ____ Keith Rockwell told reporters that Kuwait (3) ____ the request to the WTO. Members of the organization are discussing it now. However, the request may not be (4) ____. It would cost about $43 million a year to (5) ____ translators. If the WTO adds Arabic, China would probably ask the WTO to add Chinese too.

It seems (6) ____ that Arabs want Arabic as a WTO language. More than 280 million people speak the language around the world. It is the world’s  (7) ____ most widely-spoken language. French isn’t even in the top ten. China has a (8) ____ reason to ask for Chinese to be an official WTO language – there are over a billion Chinese speakers in the world. It may not be too long before the WTO languages change. The (9) ____ three languages belong to a (10) ____ time. Globalization means other countries are becoming more important.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

asked

(b)

told

(c)

said

2.

(a)

speech

(b)

speaking

(c)

spokesman

3.

(a)

did

(b)

made

(c)

had

4.

(a)

success

(b)

successfully

(c)

successful

5.

(a)

hire

(b)

higher

(c)

high

6.

(a)

logic

(b)

logical

(c)

logically

7.

(a)

sixty

(b)

sixes

(c)

sixth

8.

(a)

good

(b)

well

(c)

best

9.

(a)

gift

(b)

present

(c)

treat

10.

(a)

different

(b)

differ

(c)

difference


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

countries have adesk

2.

WTO kemsapons

3.

nudscssiig it now

4.

may not be sfscucusle

5.

cost atbou $43 million

6.

the WTO ddsa Arabic

 

Paragraph 2

7.

It essem logical

8.

saekp the language

9.

most yldiew-spoken language

10.

a iloilbn Chinese speakers

11.

nogebl to a different time

12.

mbcigeno more important


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

Keith Rockwell told reporters that Kuwait made the request to the WTO. Members of the organization

1  )

Arab countries have asked for Arabic to be an official language of the World Trade Organization

(    )

language around the world. It is the world’s sixth most widely-spoken language. French isn’t even in the

(    )

It seems logical that Arabs want Arabic as a WTO language. More than 280 million people speak the

(    )

three languages belong to a different time. Globalization means other countries are becoming more important.

(    )

billion Chinese speakers in the world. It may not be too long before the WTO languages change. The present

(    )

year to hire translators. If the WTO adds Arabic, China would probably ask the WTO to add Chinese too.

(    )

top ten. China has a good reason to ask for Chinese to be an official WTO language – there are over a

(    )

(WTO). The only official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish. WTO spokesman

(    )

are discussing it now. However, the request may not be successful. It would cost about $43 million a


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

official     of     WTO     only     languages     the     The.

2.

WTO     made     request     the     Kuwait     the     to.

3.

organization     Members     are     of     discussing     the     it.

4.

year     a     million     $43     about     Cost     translators     hire     to.

5.

too     Chinese     add     to     WTO     the     Ask.    

6.

Arabic     want     Arabs     that     logical     seems     It.    

7.

spoken     sixth     language     most     widely     The     -     world’s.    

8.

the     in     even     isn’t     French     ten     top.    

9.

a     the     billion     world     Chinese     speakers     Over     in.    

10.

important     Other     are     more     countries     becoming.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about world languages for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


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. ARABIC AND THE WTO: Search the Internet and find more information about Arabic and the WTO. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Arabic and the WTO. Include imaginary interviews with an Arab and a WTO member who is against adding another official language to the WTO languages. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the WTO. Ask him/her three questions about languages at the WTO. Give him/her three of your opinions on world languages. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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