This content-based reading class we are using in IES Mungia BHI is aimed at students in DBH4./4ºESO. It Is part of a unit about the topic of human rights and democracy and it includes authentic present-day reading about the Arab revolutions.

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Objectives: 1 – use English to talk about current issues,

2- read an article from Time magazine and understand the main ideas,

3- learn new vocabulary related to the topic.


1. Warm-up. Write on the blackboard “Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt,…  ,Libya”or show students page 20-21. Ask students what they have in common. They are the countries where the Arab revolutions are taking place. Ask students what they know about the topic: Are these revolutions peaceful or violent? What do they want? What type of political systems do they have in those countries? Are they rich countries? etc. Write the English words that students need to express their ideas on the blackboard and tell them to copy the words on their notebooks and use them.

Background information: 60% of the population in those countries is under 30; unemployment rate reaches 25%.

2. Vocabulary work.  Students do a matching exercise with some vocabulary from the text: “anthem”, “employment”, “rage”, “demonstrators”, …

3. Reading. Warn students it is an authentic text so sometimes they are not going to understand, but they should not stop reading because of that. Students read the text and answer the comprehension questions:

Why is El General famous?

Who are the leaders of the revolutions?

How do they get organized?

What do they want?

4. Check as a class. Encourage students to use their own words to answer the questions. Highlight interesting expressions or grammar structures in the text, such as “on the same wavelength”, “are led by”, “social networking sites”, …

Related activities

Listen to Obama’s speech to students at the beginning of the school year. It is in YouTube and Part 1 is about 8 minutes long, easy to read and very useful to work on reported speech later: “Obama said that…”, he told students to…”

Read the lyrics and then listen to the advertisement “Yes we can”. It is in YouTube and the lyrics are on the Internet. It is useful to talk about the history of USA: “immigrants”, “slaves”, “abolitionists”, … The video clip won 3 Grammy Awards

Mª Carmen Estebaranz

Mungia High School




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