Invite your students to discuss Brexit based on S. Toubeau’s text “Brexit: Europe’s new nationalism is here to stay” from E2.
Relevant competency aims:
- understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects
- elaborate on and discuss various aspects of multicultural societies in the English-speaking world
Approximate use of time: 25-35 minutes
Possible warm-up activity:
As the vocabulary in the text is quite advanced, introducing students to new or advanced vocabulary can be helpful. Take a closer look at terms such as: national sovereignty, economic dislocation, excessively bureaucratic, big business and highly skilled professionals, economic and social reforms, entrepreneurial politicians, contamination of populist national parties.
You may start by asking students to place these new terms within three categories: 1) I can explain this term, 2) I have heard of this/think I understand it and 3) I have not heard of this before/do not understand. Students can work on this individually, in pairs or small groups, ending in a class conversation in which all terms are explained.
Students need to have read S. Toubeau’s text “Brexit: Europe’s new nationalism is here to stay” (page 99-101 in E2).
Possible preliminary stage of the activity:
As both the vocabulary and the content of the text is quite advanced, a cooperative approach to the task might be useful. The class as a whole could be divided into four corners and each student given a number between 1 and 4, one for each corner of the sheet. All who are given the same number form a group. In these groups, students find the arguments relevant to their specific corner, with assistance from the teacher, if needed. When all groups have identified the arguments, they split up and form new groups with one person from each of the other corners (there should be a 1, 2, 3 and 4 in each group). Within their new groups they start presenting, discussing and finally agreeing on the most important reasons for the growth in euroscepticism (following the instructions in the “suggested procedure”).
Possible follow-up activities:
This may lead to research on the political situation in the UK and Europe today, and the current state of the Brexit negotiations.