Ann Van Hoefs, Veldstraat 87, 9470 Denderleeuw
Lieve Schepers, 7de Liniestraat 5, 3150 Tildonk
MichaŽl Goethals, Elleveldweg 26, 3150 Wespelaar
The following sequence of activities is a choice made by Lieve Schepers from a wealth of language practice materials written by four EFL teacher trainees as part of their examination work: Most of those materials are also available as text files so that they can easily be adapted, on a PC, by any teacher to his or her actual classroom needs. The bulk of the materials that follows was written by Ann Van Hoefs and edited with the help of Inge Boonen and Marc Creytens. Lieve Schepers adapted their materials and classroom procedure to her own teaching needs. She integrated these activities in her regular work with Contact 5 (unit 3). The result is reported here for other EFL teachers to be adapted again to their own needs. . MichaŽl Goethals helped with the final write-up of this report.
Teachers and EFL trainees interested in much more of such materials than we can prepare for publication in this journal, can contact MichaŽl Goethals.
Level: 6th form, modern languages (3 teaching periods a week)
Objectives: Integrated skills training in the lexical-notional fields of crime, court, crime prevention and punishment and the related field of identification and description of people. In the reading activities the pre-knowledge activation, skimming and scanning strategies are focused on. In speaking focuses are on negotiating decisions, reporting, and on the use of topical vocabulary. In listening the learners are trained in word discrimination, and recognising idiomatic expressions as related to the topic(s). With the writing activities reporting is practised (short, newspaper-style article); sentence cohesion is practised in a referential composition.
Time: between 10 and 15 hours/teaching periods.
Survey of activities
(Times indicated are minimal and approximative)
1 Watching video ("Murder One"): collecting idiomatic expressions used in court
The teacher selects a suitable excerpt. The students watch it twice: once just watching, a second time taking notes. They are instructed to note down as many idiomatic, somehow ritual expressions as they can detect as typical of the language of the court, e.g. "all rise", "the next witness may take the stand", "this court is adjourned", "objection overruled".
Sharing of findings in pairs.
Collecting the findings on the blackboard (on one side, e.g., under the label idiomatic expressions)
2 Creating a word star: "court"
To continue work on the blackboard, the teacher writes "COURT" in the middle of the free space on the blackboard. The students are invited to come up with words or expressions that spring to their minds and as the words are given s/he writes them on the blackboard, grouping them in a way to identify them later with labels like "PERSONS", "PUNISHMENT" and "LEGAL TERMS". The teacher has prepared a model word star (an example in appendix 1) and makes sure the important words and expressions get in it.
3 Role play: a trial in court
Groups of 5 or 6: each group has to assign the roles of:
prosecuting counsel / counsel for the prosecution
defence counsel / counsel for the defence
witness for the defence
witness for the prosecution
"For the rest of this lesson period you prepare a trial. You invent your case: a crime, the people involved, witnesses and so, the circumstances, the pieces of evidence, etc. Each role must bring one role-identifying object (the judges hammer, bands (D. "bef"), wig, picture book, other evidence materials, type of dress).
If you need more preparation time, you will have to find each other in spare moments. Make sure you can play your trial in the next lesson period (so, about 15 minutes per trial: dont make things too elaborate)."
4 Intensive listening: word discrimination
(filling out text gaps) (textbook work)
The workbook of Contact 5 has a gap text to be filled out while listening to a recording of it on tape (see also the teachers book concerned).
5 Activating vocabulary (filling out in textbook)
6 Creating a word star: "crime"
The workbook of Contact 5 offers two vocabulary activities: a grid to be filled out on the basis of short text excerpts and a matching exercise. It then suggests the creation of a word star as an alternative, but it could as well be a welcome addition.
7 Describing an imaginary criminal: creating an identikit (D. robotfoto)
(filling out an ID form)
"You imagine yourself as the victim of a misdemeanour and think of the (imagined) aggressors physical appearance. You get an ID form (as in appendix 2) and fill that out for yourself. You can also draw the identikit."
The teacher may either hand out or put on the blackboard or keep at hand for emergency help a list like this: (see Duch‚ telet, C., Goethals, M., "Describing People", W.v.T. 54, 1989, 61-85)
age : young, middle-aged, in his early,
mid-, late, 30's,...
hair colour : red, fair = blond, grey,...
hair style : long, short, curly, straight, bald,...
the shape of the face : round, oval, square, thin,...
complexion (D. "huidskleur") : pale, sunburned, brown, black,...
lips : thin, full,
nose : hooked, turned-up, straight, long
chin : pointed, double,...
clothes : green trousers, blue skirt, black jacket,...
other distinctive features : man : moustache, unshaven, sideburns, a five oclock shadow
woman : made up
M/W : freckles, glasses,...
8 Pairwork: Reporting a crime to the police, describing a criminal
"Hide your identikits now. You will work with your neighbour. One of you is person A, the victim (and will work with the prepared identikit, without looking at it, of course) and the other is person B, a police officer.
At the police station person A reports the crime. Person B at the police-station asks A to describe the offender, following the labels on an ID form (a new one, of course, as in appendix 3). The policeman fills it out and tries to draw the identikit (D. "robotfoto") picture on the basis of the data that person A gives. At the end, the policeman lets person A check the result of the drawing and correct if necessary. After finishing the conversation both players may like to compare both drawings."
If found useful and if time is available, some of the dialogues may be repeated for the whole class. Roles A and B can also be swapped.
9 Discussing suitable punishments (including the skimming of short articles)
The teacher divides the class into groups close to the number 12 and then tells the pupils that this is the number a real jury in a trial consists of. They must imagine themselves to be on jury duty. At this very moment they are in the jury box, but soon they will be asked to leave this courtroom and to decide on a suitable punishment in the jury room.
Then the teacher goes to group A and tells the jurors about the trial, and about the suspect they are going to sentence. Group B gets a different lawsuit to treat. The Jurors may get help from Contact 5 which offers them a choice of possible verdicts.
After 15 to 20 minutes of negotiating the teacher asks the jurors to make up their minds and to write the verdict on a paper and to hand it over to the judge (teacher).
Then group A gets the information about the second case, and group B about the first case. The discussion can start all over again. The same procedure is followed. After 15 to 20 minutes the jury writes down their verdict and hands it over.
The judge (teacher) resumes the case very quickly and reads both verdicts on the first suspect. Then the jurors of both groups can justify their verdict and vice versa. If time is available also the second verdict will be read out and discussed.
10 Reading "Shock Tactics"
Strategies training and vocabulary activities
The teacher introduces this text by referring to the previous lesson where the pupils themselves were to sentence a criminal. Next to the traditional verdicts alternative punishments are possible.
Then the teacher writes on the blackboard Shock Tactics and tells the pupils that this is the title of a newspaper article.
Hypothesis building on the contents of the article (class activity). All hypotheses are collected on the blackboard.
Pupils read the article for essential information. (skimming) (appendix 3)
After a first reading session the previous hypotheses on the content of the article are checked and the pupils are invited to refer to what they think is the essential information in the article. (phrasing and rephrasing of the general idea)
Then the teacher asks the pupils to write down one question about one piece of information which is - after their first reading - not very clear.
Then they read the article a second time, trying to find an answer for the information gaps. (scanning)
After a second reading they try to fill in the grid. (appendix 4)
To check whether the pupils understand the 'message of the text they do some exercises on organising information. For these exercises the text is still at their disposal. (appendix 5)
The reproductive exercises aim at implanting the different language elements firmly into the pupils heads.
The pupils should be able to reproduce and reconstruct the newly acquired lexical items. The pupils can no longer use the basic text. (appendix 6)
11 (Test) Writing: describing and justifying similar shock tactics
"Read the following newspaper articles and choose two criminals for which you think of an appropriate shock tactic." (appendix 7)
This writing practice was used as part of a test.
12 Writing: referential composition
The purpose is to make the pupils use the newly acquired vocabulary in a realistic situation.
They are asked to write one of the following: (See appendix 8)
a) a report on the new anti-crime programme
b) a portrait of Michael Hill
c) a report on C. McLendons case.
This practice is done individually, handed in and evaluated by the teacher as a written task.
Not really being familiar with the rules and the language of a courtroom myself, it was a challenge for me to start working with this topic. And it was a refreshing experience! I was really amazed that the pupils were so familiar with what goes on in a courtroom and with the abundance of topical vocabulary they provided for the wordstar. When I expressed my surprise, some of them proudly conveyed that they wouldnt miss a single episode of Murder One, and Matlock and
We all enjoyed the role play very much. The pupils had prepared their little trial to the full. In one group the judge performed with a real wig and the two lawyers were dressed up in bands and gowns. In another group the witnesses performed so convincingly and the evidence was so real that I invited my pupils to act out their case on stage for parents and visitors during the schools 'Open Door Days'. No need to say that they were successful. Another highlight was the introductory conversation to the "Shock Tactics"-text in class. My pupils were so shocked by the contents that they went on discussing the topic in the next period - their maths class. Even their maths teacher got involved in the (so she told me afterwards) heated discussion. Also the description of the imagined assaulter to the police after having created his ID came as a treat with some really hilarious moments.
In short, I enjoyed teaching this topic, and I find myself every now and then in front of our T.V.-set, watching Judge Judy or another lawsuit, trying to recognise or discover new idiomatic expressions used in the courtroom.
Other distinctive features:
From ALLAN HALL in Georgia
Hill leads the way to a four-hour ordeal in Georgias grim Boot Camp
MICHAEL HILLS face is tense with fear as he lowers himself into the electric chair. The only sound is the xhirring of the generator which sends a 2,000-volt shock through the bodies of those whose time on Death Row runs out.
In front of him are two witnesses, brown paper sick-bags within easy reach on the church-pew seating. A singkle shaft of light filters throug the death house at Georgia State Prison - the last ray of Gods sunshine that ever falls on the condemned.
For the first time in his life, Michaels cocky, streetwise facade has vanished.
He is no murderer. His only crime was to quench his thirst with a few cold beers on a hot Georgia night - at 18, he is to young to drink in America.
No one is going to throw the switch to send him to his death.
He is there in the chair as part of an innovative anti-crime programme now being used to discourage persistent petty offenders in the United States.
The aim is to scare them straight. The message is simple: This is what awaits you unless you are willing to change.
One hundred miles away, 42-year-old housewife Cynthia McLendon is paying for her fondness for smoking marijuana. She is being forced to witness the post-mortem of a murdered prostitute.
The decomposing corpsehas been ling for four days wrapping in blankets in a car. Close examination reveals the victim was a crack addict, stabbed to death by a customer whose dollars she needed to fuel her addiction.
Cynthia gets as far as seeing the pathologist saw open the dead womans skull. The she faints and has to be carried out into the fresh air.
Both Cynthia and Michael Hill are one step away from state prison. The Conditional dischatge Programme (CDP) in their home town of Ciolumbus is giving them this bizarre last chance.
Already the programme has proved an astonisching success.
Nationwide, more than 75 per cent of those involved in drug-related crimes offend again. CDP has cut that figure to 20 per cent, producing not just fewer wrongdoers but an annual crime-bill saving to Ciolumbus taxpayers of more than £1.6 million.
"Its phenomenal," says Garry Wisham, aColumbus police officer who has been in on the programme since it began.
What CDP tries to teach is responsibility, respect and awareness that there is something else in life. "We offer counselling, detoxification from the drugs, education to highschool diploma standard and support groups."
This is the pleasant side of the therapy. The other is the Death Row treatment aand mind Jolting visits to prison.
For people like Michael Hill, a one way ticket to the slammer no longetr holds a Jimmy Gagney allure. It was knocked out of him when, along with eight other drug offenders, he was introduced to the brutal reality of life in Georgia states Boot Camp.
Perhaps a key turning point for Hill, a convicted car-stereo thief and drinkdriver, comes outside the razoe-wired gates when the swaggering youngster found himself face to face with muscular corrections officer Robert Davis.
"You a virgin?" bawls Davis. "Sir, no sir!" retorts Hill with a smirk that suggests perhaps he was on the same wavelength as his tormentor.
"Are you a virgin in the way, I mean? The prison way?"
Hill is shaken. Some of the know-it-all confidence disappears. "Sir, yessir!"
"Cause you aint going to be a virgin for long Inmate Hill. Why, I can see you in a pretty little skirt now.
"They going to get red candy and lick it wet and use it for lipstick.
"Then theyll take cigarette ash and give you some pretty little mascara. Then theyll pass you around untill you holler for mercy.
"Yessir, Inmate Hill, you just what they lookin for! They lovefresh fish like you"
The four-hour ordeal has only just begun. Moments later, Hill and the rest are subjected to the first humiliation of prison life - the strip-search.
All the while their six guards pour forth a neverending torrent of abuse and threats dispelling any lingering notions that this is a placid field trip with a picnic lunch. Latexgloved officers look for contraband in the places that only wives, sweethearts and mothers see, as masks of despair settle over the faces of the new intake.
In Boot Camp, a military-style glasshouse where everyone has a shaved head and no one has a name, everything is done at the double.
The inmates rush to complete taskes so that the insults stop, if only momentarily.
In a grim cell block, where the bright light of the Georfia noonday sun barely squeezes through slit windows, the permanent gulag inmates are assembled to gaze upon those who are one step away from joining them.
"This will be your wife." Officer Davis warns. "Heere we will take away from you the right to think.
"You will be told when to go to sleep and when to wake uop, when to eat and when to work, when to lie down and when to sit up.
"I do this every day<. I love it. I look forward to you coming back to me. Boy, wouldnt we have a fine, fine time?"
The aim is to break down the they-cant-do-anything-to-me attitude. And for the most part it workq. Jack larkin, a sherrifs deputy assigned to the programme, said "There correctional officers can do more in two hours than we could do in two months.
"Once we have broken them down we can build them back up. We have to show them the sharp end, the place where they are willing to reform."
"Aint no place I wanna go back to." says Hill in his Dukes of Hazzard style southern drawl.
"I coulsnt take all the insults. It makes you realise you gotta quit whats messed you up in the first place.
"Man, theres some bad dudes in there, some real ugly guys. I guess that theyve got me.
"I aint going in there. I swear to God."
(solutions between [ ] )
|where?||[town of Columbus, Georgia States Boot Camp]|
|why?||[to scare persistent petty offenders straight]|
What does the programme consist of ?
|1a. It tries to teach||
- [awareness that there is something in life]
|1b. It offers||
- [detoxification from drugs]
2 It also wants to shock people. In what way(s) ?
-.[Death Row Treatment]
- [introduction to the brutal reality op prison life]
a) [humiliating conversation]
b) [strip search]
(solutions between [ ] )
I. Indicate whether the statements are true
Add the sentence (or part of it) in which you found evidence for your answer.
1 Michael Hill is about to be executed. [F]
2 Cynthia McLendon has to pay a high fine for her crime. [F]
3 The anti-crime programme has succeeded in lowering the rate of recidivists. [T]
4 Hill was accused of theft and being drunk at the wheel. [T]
5 Part of the CDP is a humiliation by a prison officer. [T]
6 Hill is taken to prison and he will have to stay there for several years. [F]
7 The only aim of CDP is to scare criminals deeply. [F]
8 Jack Larkin was the officer who had to insult Michael Hill to the bone. [F]
II. Match the two columns so that you end up with eight correct sentences.
|1. His face is tense||[e]||a. to scare them straight.|
|2. The aim is||[a]||b. counselling.|
|3. She gets as far as||[f]||c. realise you have to quit.|
|4. We offer||[b]||d. to go to sleep.|
|5. He was introduced||[g]||e. with fear.|
|6. You will be told when||[d]||f. seeing the corpse.|
|7. I look forward to||[h]||g. to the brutal reality of life.|
|8. It makes you||[c]||h. you coming back to me.|
III. Link every word with its explanation.
|1. cocky||[c]||a. the condemned cells|
|2. quench your thirst||[f]||b. having similar opinions|
|3. to lower||[e]||c. too sure of yourself|
|4. Death Row||[a]||d. to disappear|
|5. to vanish||[d]||e. to move down|
|6. shaft||[g]||f. drink enough so that you are no longer thirsty|
|7. contraband||[h]||g. narrow line of light|
|8. on the same wavelength||[b]||h. goods brought into or out of a country illegally|
IV. Fill in the grid.
All the words you have to enter are in the text.
Down you will find words describing the topic of the text
1. something which somebody says or does that offends you
[insult, astonishing, postmortem, mercy, blanket, faint, annual, decomposing, treatment, despair, convicted, swagger]
V. Tick off the correct meaning of the underlined words.
1. The pathologist opened the dead woman's skull.
O bone of the head *
2. The programme is being used to discourage persistent petty offenders.
O unimportant *
3. The guards pour forth a never-ending torrent of abuse and threats.
O amount of unpleasant language *
O amount of spoken language
4. One side of the therapy is the mind-jolting visits to prison.
O giving you a shock *
O driving you crazy
O making you angry
5. In a grim cell block, the inmates are assembled to gaze upon others.
O sad *
6. The four-hour ordeal has just begun.
O painful experience *
7. This is a placid field trip with a picnic lunch.
O horrible and painful
O sad and unpleasant
O calm and peaceful *
8. Everything is done at the double.
O very fast *
VI Unscramble the anagrams.
The information between brackets will help you.
|1. (making a regular sound)||ghirwirn||[whirring]|
|2. (cruel treatment of somebody)||eusba||[abuse]|
|3. (glass building which you grow plants in)||saushelgos||[glass house]|
|4. (person kept in a place)||meinta||[inmate]|
|5. (to make known)||lerave||[reveal]|
|6. (introducing something new)||voitaneniv||[innovative]|
|7. (person who sees something happen)||niswets||[witness]|
|8. (to lose consciousness)||infta||[faint]|
I. Fill in the missing words.
The words between brackets will help you.
Michael Hill's face is (filled with) ...[tense with]... (anxiety) ...[fear]... as he (moves down) ...[lowers]... himself into the electric chair. The only sound is the (beating against the air) ...[whirring]... of the generator which sends a 2,000-volt shock through the bodies of those whose time on (the condemned cells) ...[Death Row]... runs out.
A single (narrow line of light) ...[shaft of light]... (gradually reaches) ...[filters through]... the death house at Georgia State Prison.
For the first time in his life, Michael's (self-confident) ...[cocky] , (clever to manage in the hard world of the city streets) ...[streetwise]... (appearance, but a false one) ...[facade]... has (disappeared) ...[vanished]... He is no (killer) ...[murderer]... His only crime was to (drink so that he wasn't thirsty anymore) ...[quench his thirst]... with (not many) ...[a few]... cold beers on a hot Georgia night.
He is in the chair as part of an (newly introduced) ...[innovative]... anti- (offence) ...[crime]... programme now being used to (try to prevent by putting difficulties in the way) ...[discourage]... (continuing in spite of opposition) ...[persistent]... (of little importance) ...[petty]... (criminals) ...[offenders]... in the United States. The (purpose) ...[aim]... is to (frighten) ...[scare]... them (directly, without delay) [straight]
Cynthia McLendon (is receiving punishment) ...[is paying for]... her (keenness on) ...[fondness for]... smoking marijuana. She is being (made to) ...[forced to]... (be present when something happens) ...[witness]... .the (autopsy) ...[postmortem]... of a (killed) ...[murdered]... (woman offering sex in return for payment)...[prostitute]...
The (decaying) ...[decomposing]... (dead body) ...[corpse]... has been lying for four days (covered) ...[wrapped]... in (woollen coverings) ...[blankets]... in a car. (More careful) ...[Closer]... examination (makes known) ...[reveals]... the (person suffering as a result of other people's actions) ...[victim]... was a (pure form of cocaine) ...[crack].... (person who can't live without something) ...[addict]... (struck with a knife) ...[stabbed]... to death.
Hubby rips out wife's tongue (The Sun)
A crazed husband ripped out his nagging wife's tongue with pliers. When she screamed, he tore off the end of her nose and pulled out one of her teeth. The man, 31, went berserk when his 25-year-old wife moaned about his drinking in Iserlohn, Germany.
Drive for cash
Police are hunting two suspects after a driver was kidnapped, forced to take cash from bank machines and then left naked in his car. The victim said he was attacked and then forced to drive to the bank teller machines after he spotted a car with flashing hazard lights at Stores Road, Derby, and offered to help.
A 63-year-old man was stabbed twice in the stomach after going to the rescue of his daughter, aged 32, when she was knifed in the chest near her home at Walcot, Swindon.
He was stable after an operation to remove his spleen, while his daughter was recovering in hospital. A man was being questioned by police in connection with the attacks.
Treasures taken in Luton Hoo raid
Thieves stole away with a haul that could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Wernher Collection, at Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, home to some of Britain's finest art works. Among the items stolen were Fabergť eggs, ornaments and jewellery.
Police said the alarm system protecting the collection failed to activate.
Strangler covers his victim in white paint
(Daily Mirror, 18 April, 1994)
A brutal killer who stabbed and strangled a Salvation Army churchgoer in his home was being hunted by police yesterday. Lonely Ronald Cousins was murdered and the sprayed with gallons of white paint after a 'good Samaritan' act. The attack on Mr Cousins, 78, happened after he returned to his two-bedroomed terraced house in Chelmsford, Essex, late on Friday night. The killer is believed to have been offered shelter for the night by Mr Cousins, who met him in the town centre.
I. Referential Composition
You are a journalist writing a report on the new American anti-crime programme.
1. You start your report with an introduction about the new anti-crime programme.
What is it about ? What is the aim ? Who was it conveyed for ?
You can make use of the following words:
innovative, anti-crime, discourage, persistent, petty, aim, responsibility, respect, scare, straight, mind-jolting, brutal, Georgia State's Boot Camp, ordeal, humiliation, correctional officer, pour forth, torrent, abuse, threat, insult.
2. Report on Michael Hill's situation.
The following words will prove useful:
lower oneself, electric chair, whirring, throw the switch, tense, cocky, streetwise, vanish, murderer, quench one's thirst.
3. From a fellow reporter you receive information on the case of Cynthia McLendon.
You have to include her case in your report too.
Write some lines with the help of the following keywords:
housewife, fondness, marijuana, forced, post-mortem, decomposing, corpse, blankets, reveal, victim, crack, addict, stab to death, pathologist, faint,
carry out, fresh air.