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Learning English: Intermediate English June 2009

Learning English: Intermediate English June 2009

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Published by: The Guardian on May 20, 2010
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News-based English language activities from the global newspaper

June 2009

Level ≥ Lower intermediate Style ≥ Lesson plan
Welcome to the Guardian Weekly’s special news-based materials to support learners and teachers of English. Each month, the Guardian Weekly newspaper selects topical news articles that can be used to practise English language skills. The materials are graded for two levels: advanced and lower intermediate. These worksheets can be downloaded free from guardianweekly.co.uk/learningenglish/. You can also find more advice for teachers and learners on the site.

Satnav system could take wrong turn
Materials prepared by Janet Hardy-Gould

Instructions
Lesson focus: Materials sheet: Time:

reading, giving directions copies of the article, satnav image, map 55 minutes g The situation could be good for the Chinese/European system called Galileo. Answers: a worse b report c air force d 20 e late f might g European 4 Explain to students they are now going to be satnav voices. Give out copies of a town map. Demonstrate how to give basic satnav directions. Include phrases such as: at the end of the road turn left, turn right in 200 metres, turn right onto the (road number), turn left now, bear right, at the roundabout take the 2nd exit, in 200 metres you will arrive at your destination, you have arrived at your destination, your destination is in on the left, turn round now. 12 mins 5 Put students into pairs with a map in front of them. One student is the “satnav” and gives directions from a specific place to an unknown destination. The other person listens and pushes a “car” (small object) around their map to reach the destination. The listener then gives feedback – Did the satnav speak slowly/clearly and give good directions? Swap roles and repeat. Students nominate people who were talented satnavs. These students demonstrate their abilities. 15 mins

1 Divide the class into A/B pairs and explain they are going to play “20 questions”. The A students will think of a certain object and the B students will ask up to 20 yes/ no questions to find out what it is. Go through possible questions eg Is it small/expensive/electronic? Can you find it in your kitchen/office/car? 6 mins 2 Ask the B students to leave the room. Pass round the photo of the satnav and check the A students know what it is. The B students return and then play 20 questions with their partner. Class feedback. Encourage students to say how satnav works and establish: motorist, navigate, navigation, network, satellite, signal, position, system. 10 mins 3 Write up the questions below and go through them as a class. Give out copies of the article. Students read and choose the correct words. Class feedback. 12 mins a From next year, the satnav system will get better/ worse. b This new information about satnav comes from a report/book. c The US air force/Congress looks after the satnav system. d The satnav network is now three/20 years old. e A new satellite will go into space a few years late/early. f Ordinary satnav users might/won’t have problems.

News-based English language activities from the global newspaper

June 2009

Materials sheet

Article: Satnav system could take wrong turn
1 For millions of motorists who thought satnav would stop them ever getting lost, it could soon be time to think again. 2 The navigation technology built into many cars and mobile phones may have problems from next year, US experts have warned. This is because of the possible failure of some GPS satellites. 3 Satellites constantly orbit the planet and send signals back that help find a person’s position on the Earth’s surface. 4 A report says the whole system could begin to get worse, leading to blackouts, failures and even wrong directions to millions of users. 5 The system is maintained by the US air force and the report warns that a lack of money and serious management problems could affect some military and civilian users. 6 “It is uncertain whether the air force will be able to acquire new satellites in time to maintain current GPS service without interruption,” said the report for the US Congress. 7 Although the air force is spending nearly $2bn to improve the 20-year-old system, delays are putting the whole system in danger. 8 The first new GPS satellite was due to launch at the beginning of 2007, but it has been delayed several times and it will now go into orbit in November this year – almost three years late. 9 The impact on ordinary users could be serious, with millions of satnav users becoming possible victims of bad directions or failed services. There would also be similar difficulties for the military, which uses GPS for mapping, reconnaissance and finding enemy targets. 10 The problems with GPS could open the door to other satellite navigation systems such as Galileo – the European attempt to beat the US system – which starts next year. 11 Russia, India and China are also expanding their own satellite navigation technologies. Original article by Bobbie Johnson, rewritten by Janet Hardy-Gould

Student tasks

Read the article and chose the correct word to use in these sentences a From next year, the satnav system will get better/ worse. b This new information about satnav comes from a report/book. c The US air force/Congress looks after the satnav system. d The satnav network is now three/20 years old. e A new satellite will go into space a few years late/early. f Ordinary satnav users might/won’t have problems. g The situation could be good for the Chinese/European system called Galileo. Satnav Map

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