Before you unleash the wave of criticism and unfavourable comments please, be informed that the lesson presented below was designed by me last year, in August, just after an attack in a train in France. This event triggered some immigrants-oriented discussions with one of my students and was meant solely to practise useful vocabulary. It does not promote any racism, nor political affiliation or social movements. It is to facilitate the students with useful expressions while discussing pressing social problems or recent events (the actual beliefs or opinions are not important here). That is why you will find references to France and its immigration policy. On the other side, it shows the good examples from the same country, even from the history of Poland, which unlike in the past it is rather homogeneous country now. So leave your political correctness and social sensitiveness aside and learn some new vocabulary because this site is about a language itself, not about politics. I hope that English teachers will immidiadetely get it and appreciate it, using the lesson as it is, or after their own modifications.
Terrorist attack in France
slide #2: The lessons starts with the reference to the article about train attack published on Stars&Stripes website (link). I told my student to read it before the actual lesson and we used discussion about the attack as a warm-up. First you can check the reading comprehension by asking some questions. It could be the same set of questions as I asked. You can also ask your student to simply summarize the article and recount its main points.
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slide #3: This is the set of some synonyms for chosen words from the article to extend students’ linguistic competence in the topic.
Immigrants – common fears
slide #4: The list of possible problems/fears connected with the phenomenon of immigration. You can ask students about their opinion, whether they believe the problems are true or not. Or you can ask them to assess which of those are true for their country of origin or the country they currently live in.
slide #5: Some graphics/statistics concerning Poland. Camparison of Poland’s demographics before WWII and at present. For the Polish students it’s important to realize that Poland has not always been so homogeneous as it is now. What is more, it is thought-provoking to recall that era of the Poland’s history because there is a common belief that we did quite well that time, even though Poland was ethnically diverse.
slide #6: Some statistics from France to illustrate current country diversity. You can ask the students whether it resembles the Poland’s situation from before WWII. Ask for differences between Polish and French settings.
Immigration – the French policy
slide #7-13: Vocabulary exercise. That passage was taken verbatim from official French policy towards immigration. A bit of history with emphasis on the most important vocabulary.
slide #14: The great illustration for discussing differences (legalities mainly) between European Union and Shengen Area. Countries marked in orange should draw students’ attention immediately. You can explain that there are countries to join the Area soon (as of August, 2015). This discussion will help students understand the migratory flows in Europe.
Border controls in Europe and migratory flows
slide #15: Follow-on topic to extend the previous discussion on Shengen Area and EU. The set of words at the bottom introduces the last topic – FRONTEX.
slide #16: It explains what FRONTEX is. Curiously enough, this organization is operated from Warsaw, Poland, so it’s a great bit of information for Polish students. You can provoke students to wonder about future of border control, FRONTEX itself, or even the whole Shengen area.
slide #17: Writing assignment, of course dealing with the problems just discussed. The final stage of mastering the new vocabulary and useful expressions.
After almost one year since that lesson was designed, recent attacks in France and Belgium, gave it even more value and a dramatic twist. Since English exams require students to recount current social problems and events, that lesson is even more handy than it was one year ago.