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Belgium Bans the Burqa (2nd May, 2010)

Belgium’s government has passed a new law that bans women from wearing a burqa. This is the veil worn by many Muslim women. The new law means Muslim women can no longer wear the veil in public. They can receive a $34 fine or a week in prison if they cover their face. The whole world is watching to see if other European countries copy Belgium. Perhaps France will be next. It has talked about banning the veil for many months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been very clear about this, saying: “The burqa has no place in France.”

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Belgium’s decision has made Muslims around the world very angry. They say white, Christian, European governments are picking on them. European countries always say freedom of religion is very important, but now Belgium has banned a part of religious dress. Belgian politicians say they are defending women's rights. In fact, the opposite is happening. Belgium’s new law will only cause great harm to race relations. If the USA created a similar law, European governments would quickly say America is bad.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

passed

a.

a $34 fine

2

the veil

b.

wear the veil in public

3.

women can no longer

c.

clear about this

4.

They can receive

d.

a new law

5.

The whole world

e.

worn by many Muslim women

6.

Sarkozy has been very

f.

is watching

 

Paragraph 2

1.

governments are picking

a.

happening

2

freedom of religion is

b.

on them

3.

a part of

c.

quickly say America is bad

4.

the opposite is

d.

relations

5.

cause great harm to race

e.

very important

6.

European governments would

f.

religious dress


LISTENING GAP FILL

Belgium’s government has _________________ that bans women from wearing a burqa. This is _________________ many Muslim women. The new law means Muslim women can no longer wear the veil in public. They can ________________ or a week in prison if they ________________. The whole world is watching to see if other European countries copy Belgium. Perhaps France ________________. It has talked about banning the veil for many months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been very ________________, saying: “The burqa has no place in France.”

Belgium’s decision has made Muslims ________________ very angry. They say white, Christian, European governments are ________________. European countries always say freedom of religion is very important, but now Belgium has ________________ of religious dress. Belgian politicians say they are defending women's rights. In ________________ is happening. Belgium is stopping women from dressing how they want to. Belgium’s new law will only ________________ to race relations. If the USA created a similar law, European governments ________________ America is bad.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Belgium’s government has (1) ____ a new law that bans women from wearing a burqa. This is the veil worn by many Muslim women. The new law (2) ____ Muslim women can no longer wear the veil (3) ____ public. They can receive a $34 fine or a week in prison if they cover their face. The whole world is watching to (4) ____ if other European countries copy Belgium. Perhaps France will be next. It has talked about banning the veil for many months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been very (5) ____ about this, saying: “The burqa has no place in France.”

Belgium’s decision has made Muslims around the world very angry. They say white, Christian, European governments are (6) ____ on them. European countries always (7) ____ freedom of religion is very important, but now Belgium has banned a part of religious (8) ____. Belgian politicians say they are defending women's rights. In fact, the opposite is happening. Belgium’s new law will only cause great (9) ____ to race relations. If the USA created a (10) ____ law, European governments would quickly say America is bad.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

past

(b)

passed

(c)

passing

2.

(a)

means

(b)

meaning

(c)

Mean

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

off

4.

(a)

look

(b)

view

(c)

see

5.

(a)

clearly

(b)

clear

(c)

cleared

6.

(a)

picking

(b)

sticking

(c)

licking

7.

(a)

speak

(b)

talk

(c)

say

8.

(a)

dress

(b)

dressing

(c)

dresses

9.

(a)

harmful

(b)

harm

(c)

harms

10.

(a)

same

(b)

similar

(c)

similarity


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

eapdss a new law

2.

wear the veil in picbul

3.

a week in npsrio

4.

The ehlow world

5.

very eclar about this

6.

no cealp in France

 

Paragraph 2

7.

Belgium’s edisicno

8.

pcikgin on them

9.

religious resds

10.

usace great harm

11.

race nsloireta

12.

created a iislram law


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

by many Muslim women. The new law means Muslim women can no longer wear the veil in public. They can

(    )

receive a $34 fine or a week in prison if they cover their face. The whole world is watching to see if other European

(    )

USA created a similar law, European governments would quickly say America is bad.

1  )

Belgium’s government has passed a new law that bans women from wearing a burqa. This is the veil worn

(    )

Belgium’s decision has made Muslims around the world very angry. They say white, Christian, European

(    )

now Belgium has banned a part of religious dress. Belgian politicians say they are defending women's rights. In

(    )

countries copy Belgium. Perhaps France will be next. It has talked about banning the veil for many

(    )

fact, the opposite is happening. Belgium’s new law will only cause great harm to race relations. If the

(    )

months. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been very clear about this, saying: “The burqa has no place in France.”

(    )

governments are picking on them. European countries always say freedom of religion is very important, but


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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

1.

law     new     a     passed     has     government     Belgium’s.    

2.

can     wear     in     Women     longer     veil     no     the     public.    

3.

can     They     fine     $34     a     receive.    

4.

is     world     whole     The     watching.    

5.

has     this     clear     been     Sarkozy     about     very.    

6.

picking     them     European     are     on     governments.    

7.

very     of     is     important     Freedom     religion.    

8.

are     they     say     Politicians     rights     women's     defending.    

9.

harm     race     great     to     relations     Cause.    

10.

is     America     say     quickly     would     Governments     bad.    


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 the veil 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. THE VEIL: Search the Internet and find more information about the veil/burqa and what European countries think about it. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the veil. Include imaginary an interview with a Muslim woman in Belgium who cannot now wear one in public and Belgium’s leader. 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 Belgium’s leader. Ask him three questions about the veil. Give him three of your opinions on the Belgium’s decision. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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