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Gordon Brown's Big Election Mistake (28th April, 2010)

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a huge mistake just days before the country’s elections. Brown forgot to turn off his microphone after talking to a 66-year-old voter, Gillian Duffy. He spoke to Ms Duffy in the street for 6 minutes. The two talked about many important topics, like the economy, tax, education and immigration. When Mr Brown got into his car and drove away, he forgot his mic was still on. Reporters were shocked when he told his assistants he thought the lady was a “bigot” – someone who hates foreigners.

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Gordon Brown is now in big trouble in the elections on May 6. He is currently third in the polls. This is a dangerous position to be in. Mr Brown later drove back to the lady’s house to say sorry to her. He spent nearly an hour with her apologizing. Mr Brown chose not to say anything about Ms Duffy's question. She asked about Eastern Europeans "flocking" into Britain. This word is actually the kind of language a bigot would use. Mr Brown seems out of touch with the voters, especially ones from other countries.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

Gordon Brown made a

a.

was still on

2

Brown forgot to turn

b.

foreigners

3.

a 66-year-old

c.

and immigration

4.

the economy, tax, education

d.

huge mistake

5.

he forgot his mic

e.

voter

6.

someone who hates

f.

off his microphone

 

Paragraph 2

1.

Brown is now in

a.

would use

2

third in

b.

to be in

3.

a dangerous position

c.

with the voters

4.

Brown chose not

d.

big trouble

5.

the kind of language a bigot

e.

to say anything

6.

out of touch

f.

the polls


LISTENING GAP FILL

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown _______________ mistake just days before the country’s elections. Brown forgot _________________ microphone after talking to a 66-year-old voter, Gillian Duffy. He spoke to Ms Duffy _________________ 6 minutes. The two talked about many important _______________ economy, tax, education and immigration. When Mr Brown got into his car and drove away, he forgot his _______________ on. Reporters were shocked when he told his assistants he thought the lady was a “bigot” – _________________ foreigners.

Gordon Brown is now _______________ in the elections on May 6. He is _________________ the polls. This is a dangerous position to be in. Mr Brown later drove back to the lady’s house _______________ her. He spent nearly an hour with her apologizing. Mr Brown _________________ anything about Ms Duffy's question. She asked about Eastern Europeans "flocking" into Britain. This word _________________ kind of language a bigot would use. Mr Brown seems _________________ the voters, especially ones from other countries.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a (1) ____ mistake just days before the country’s elections. Brown forgot to turn (2) ____ his microphone after talking to a 66-year-old voter, Gillian Duffy. He spoke to Ms Duffy in the street for 6 minutes. The (3) ____ talked about many important topics, like the economy, tax, education and immigration. When Mr Brown got into his car and drove (4) ____, he forgot his mic was still on. Reporters were shocked when he told his assistants he thought the lady was a “bigot” – someone who (5) ____ foreigners.

Gordon Brown is now in big (6) ____ in the elections on May 6. He is currently third in the polls. This is a dangerous position to be (7) ____. Mr Brown later drove back to the lady’s house to say sorry (8) ____ her. He spent nearly an hour with her apologizing. Mr Brown (9) ____ not to say anything about Ms Duffy's question. She asked about Eastern Europeans "flocking" into Britain. This word is actually the kind of language a bigot would use. Mr Brown seems out of (10) ____ with the voters, especially ones from other countries.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

huge

(b)

high

(c)

hugely

2.

(a)

only

(b)

off

(c)

out

3.

(a)

duo

(b)

two

(c)

twos

4.

(a)

under

(b)

above

(c)

away

5.

(a)

hates

(b)

hatred

(c)

hate

6.

(a)

troublesome

(b)

trouble

(c)

troubling

7.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

to

8.

(a)

at

(b)

in

(c)

to

9.

(a)

choice

(b)

choose

(c)

chose

10.

(a)

feel

(b)

touch

(c)

hold


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

made a huge skmaeit

2.

nurt off his microphone

3.

a 66-year-old roetv

4.

many important sptoci

5.

his mic was slitl on

6.

someone who athse foreigners

 

Paragraph 2

7.

in big oebulrt

8.

third in the oplsl

9.

vdeor back

10.

Brown hoces not to say

11.

gnueaagl a bigot would use

12.

out of tocuh


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

Gordon Brown is now in big trouble in the elections on May 6. He is currently third in the polls. This

(    )

to Ms Duffy in the street for 6 minutes. The two talked about many important topics, like the economy, tax,

(    )

elections. Brown forgot to turn off his microphone after talking to a 66-year-old voter, Gillian Duffy. He spoke

(    )

on. Reporters were shocked when he told his assistants he thought the lady was a “bigot” – someone who hates foreigners.

(    )

is a dangerous position to be in. Mr Brown later drove back to the lady’s house to say sorry to her. He spent

(    )

bigot would use. Mr Brown seems out of touch with the voters, especially ones from other countries.

1  )

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a huge mistake just days before the country’s

(    )

education and immigration. When Mr Brown got into his car and drove away, he forgot his mic was still

(    )

asked about Eastern Europeans "flocking" into Britain. This word is actually the kind of language a

(    )

nearly an hour with her apologizing. Mr Brown chose not to say anything about Ms Duffy's question. She


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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

1.

huge     mistake     Gordon     Brown     made     a.

2.

microphone     his     off     turn     to     forgot     Brown.    

3.

talked     two     The     topics     important     many     about.    

4.

his     car     Brown     and     got     drove     into     away.    

5.

a     was     lady     the     thought     He     bigot.    

6.

big     the     Brown     in     in     now     trouble     elections     is.    

7.

position     This     to     is     be     a     in     dangerous.    

8.

anything     to     chose     say     not     Brown.    

9.

use     of     would     kind     bigot     The     a     language.    

10.

seems     the     out     voters     of     touch     Brown     with.    


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 Gordon Brown 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. GORDON BROWN: Search the Internet and find more information about Gordon Brown and the UK Election. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Gordon Brown’s mistake. Include an imaginary interview with Gordon Brown and someone from an Eastern European country. 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 Gordon Brown. Ask him three questions about being Prime Minister. Give him three pieces of advice on how he can win the election. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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