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CAMPAIGN NEWS DIGEST

november 2009


peacekeepers in lebanon

More than 12,000 United Nations peacekeepers from 28 countries are participating in a mission (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon,, as part of the Indonesian contingent. UNIFIL is one of the U.N.’s largest missions. Over 3,000 of these “blue helmets" in southern Lebanon are women, who are deployed as either peacekeepers or international military police

The mission began in 1978 to create a buffer between Israel and militants in southern Lebanon. After the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, a truce went into effect, and UN peacekeepers were tasked to monitor the truce

The peacekeepers perform routine peacekeeping tasks including patrolling, checkpoints, and investigating accidents as well as working alongside international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to help and protect the local people. One of their tasks is to support and train the national military. Another is to teach vocational skills to local residents, to help them find jobs as well as running health clinics in the area.

Many of these peacekeepers say that they would return to Lebanon for another mission, despite the difficulties and dangers involved in peacekeeping.



women to serve on us subs

the united states navy is discussing the possibility of mixed-gender personnel to serve on submarines. In the past, the Navy banned women from assignments aboard these vessels. More recently, top Navy officials have been speaking in favour of ending this ban. If they move in this direction, it will broaden the opportunities available to servicewomen.

However, the integration of women into the submarine force will not be immediate. Before any sailor is assigned to a submarine, they have to be interviewed, and then, nuclear trained. Additionally, before female crewmembers can serve on submarines, the submarines need to be reconfigured so that they will have private accommodation.

Although the Navy still has a few issues to resolve, it is working toward increasing its diversity both at sea and ashore.


record recruiting year

recruiting numbers in 2009 were at a record high. In fact, this is the first year that both the active services and the reserve components have met their recruiting goals since the all-volunteer force started in 1973. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps all recruited more than their target number of recruits.

Several factors have contributed to this year’s recruiting success. First, in times of economic downturn, many young people are attracted to the job security the service offers. They are able to make a decent living in the military, in terms of earning capacity. Additionally, recent demographic studies show that young people born between 1978 and 1996 choose public service jobs more frequently than previous generations.

In addition, this generation of recruits has a higher level of education than previous groups, translating into increased capabilities, and a higher level of performance in the field.

paying tribute to heroes

soldiers, sailors and aircrew were honoured for their extraordinary achievements at a recent ceremony in Plymouth, U.K. Sir Alan Massey paid tribute to British troops who had taken part in tours of Iraq and Afghanistan for their heroic actions. Sir Massey awarded the soldiers with medals, and praised them for providing ‘inspirational leadership’ and demonstrating ‘exceptional gallantry’ and ‘distinguished service’, with little regard for their own safety. Indeed, soldiers in the field are known to put themselves in the line of fire to help fellow soldiers. If you ask a soldier, he will tell you that this is just part of being in the military. Sir Alan Massey stated that it was a top priority to continue supporting the troops to ensure success on current and future operations, adding that these heroes ‘deserve nothing less’.

12,000 UN Peacekeepers Keep the Peace in Southern Lebanon, VOA News, October 3rd, 2009


http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-03-voa32.cfm

Kruzel, John J. Women 'Soon' Will Serve on Submarines, Navy Secretary Says, American Forces Press Service, Oct. 7, 2009 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/10/mil-091007-afps05.htm

Gilmore, Gerry J. Services Show Record Recruiting Year, American Forces Press Service, October 13, 2009 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/10/mil-091013-afps03.htm

Courage Under Contact, Soldier, October 2009



http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/feature4.htm

Student Worksheet

Task 1: pre-reading vocabulary

Before reading the articles, match the words on the left to the definitions on the right.

1 buffer a) heroism and courage

2 truce b) to officially say that people must not do something

3 to run c) be paid for a service, labour, or work

4 gender d) something that lessens the shock of an impact

5 to ban e) more, better, faster or higher than ever before

6 to reconfigure f) statistics describing human populations

7 record g) to change the settings

8 earning h) to operate

9 demographic i) a statement made to show that you respect and admire somebody

10 achievement j) an action done successfully, especially by means of skill

11 tribute k) the fact of being either female or male

12 gallantry l) an agreement between two opponents to stop fighting for a period of time


Task 2: comprehension check

Decide if the following sentences are true (T) or false (F).

1 Several years ago, UN peacekeepers were sent to Lebanon to oversee a truce between Israel and Hezbollah.

2 UNIFIL peacekeepers train local residents with specific technical skills so that they can find a job.

3 Women in the U.S. Navy are currently serving aboard nuclear submarines.

4 Women crew members will have private accommodation.

5 The economic recession has discouraged young people from enlisting in the armed forces.

6 As a group, new recruits are better qualified than previous groups of recruits.

7 Medals in recognition of outstanding acts of bravery were only awarded to ground soldiers.

8 Sir Massey stated that he is in favour of withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq in the near future.



Task 3: discussion

The first story in this month’s Campaign News Digest talks about the United Nations mission in southern Lebanon. Find out about one of the aspects of this mission and report your findings to the class.



Task 4: writing

The last story focuses on the heroic actions of deployed troops. Write an essay (of about 300 words) about a person who you think should receive an operational honour. Support your choice with reasons. Use this website for ideas:



http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/feature4.htm

Teacher’s Notes

Task 1: pre-reading vocabulary

Before reading the articles, match the words on the left to the definitions on the right.

1 to buffer d) something that lessens the shock of an impact

2 truce l) an agreement between two opponents to stop fighting for a period of time

3 to run h) to operate

4 gender k) the fact of being either female or male

5 to ban b) to officially say that people must not do something

6 to reconfigure g) to change the settings

7 record e) more, better, faster or higher than ever before

8 earning c) be paid for a service, labour, or work

9 demographic f) statistics describing human populations

10 achievement j) an action done successfully, especially by means of skill

11 tribute i) a statement made to show that you respect and admire somebody

12 gallantry a) heroism and courage


Task 2: comprehension check: short answer questions

Decide if the following sentences are true (T) or false (F).

1 True

2 True


3 False. First they need to be nuclear trained, and submarines need to provide private accommodations for women.

4 True.


5 False. Young people are more inclined to enlist in the armed forces in times of economic recession.

6 True


7 False. Soldiers, aircrew and sailors alike were recognized.

8 False. He said we must support our deployed troops to ensure success on current and future operations.


Task 3: discussion

The aim of this speaking activity is to learn new operational terminology and use these new words in an oral presentation. Ask students to find out information about one of the aspects of the UNIFIL mission as follows:

First, ask one student to access this website that gives facts and figures for UNIFIL: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/facts.html

Ask a different student to access this website that outlines the UNIFIL mandate: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/mandate.html

Ask both of these students to take notes on the key information, and that they are going to use their notes to report their findings to the class. Set an appropriate time limit.

Direct the remaining students to the following website, which provides numerous UNIFIL press releases: http://unifil.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1511

Ask the remaining students to choose a (different) UNIFIL press release and to take notes on the events reported in a press release. They are going to to use their notes to report their findings to the class.

If your students do not have access to the Internet in the classroom, you could download these pages before the lesson and give them each a printout of a different press release.

If you have the Internet in the classroom, you may want to introduce this activity by asking the students to watch and listen to the following online video, which describes UNIFIL. Alternatively, you could watch the video after the oral presentations to close the activity.


http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unifil/videos.html a video overview of UNIFIL

Task 4: writing

This exercise aims to practise descriptive skills, and encourage students to write a more abstract essay. Explain to students that they are going to write an essay about somebody they think should receive an operational honour. Instruct them to write as vividly as possible, and to use specific details to interest their readers.

Print out the profiles describing the recipients of the operational awards so that the students can use them as a model for their writing. (http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/feature4.htm ).

As a lead-in, brainstorm adjectives describing personal attributes and leadership qualities.

Encourage students to use a wide range of expression and to try to go beyond common words like ‘important’. You could brainstorm the word ‘important’ (as in an important person) to get them started, then show them how to use a thesaurus to find alternatives for other words.

Important
: powerful, leading, prominent, commanding, supreme, outstanding, high-level, dominant, influential, notable, eminent, high-ranking, authoritative, noteworthy

Next, display the following parts of an essay in a random order and ask students to identify which section of an essay (Introduction, Development or Conclusion) they would expect to find them in. This procedure will help familiarize students with how an essay is organized. Monitor this activity, providing input where necessary.


Introduction : introduce the topic


  • Give a background summary of the person you have chosen.

  • Highlight why this person has made a strong impression on you


Development: supporting paragraphs that develop the main idea with detail and examples

  • Narrate the event that distinguishes this person.

  • Describe the attributes of this person.

  • Give reasons for your choice.

  • Organize and put forth your argument logically. (see Sequencing Language)



Conclusion

  • Summarize and restate clearly your opinion.

    • Give your essay an ending, do not simply stop writing.

If you think your students need to review the language used to sequence, give opinions, and express time, you could brainstorm this language as a class. Display the function headings on the board and ask students to volunteer phrases that they could use for the function. Below are some suggestions:




Opinion Language

  • I think that…

  • I believe…

  • I agree / disagree with…

  • In my opinion…

  • I tend to think…

Sequencing Language



  • First of all,

  • In the first place,

  • In addition,

  • Moreover,

  • Finally / Lastly

Time Expressions

  • Afterwards

  • Initially

  • At last

  • In the end

  • At the same time

  • In the future

  • In the meanwhile

  • Previously

  • Subsequently

  • Currently


When they have finished writing, ask the students to exchange their essays with another classmate and ask them to proof-read each other’s essay. Ask each student to write a comment for their classmate, giving specific details of what they liked, and offering suggestions and ideas to improve the writing. If this is the first time you have done this you may want to provide some general guidelines for this activity. Below is a sample guideline for peer essay review.

Organization and Convention


  • Is there an introduction, development, and conclusion?

  • Does the writing follow the conventions of formal writing?

  • Content

  • Does the essay adequately discuss the topic?

  • Does the writer give reasons supporting his choice of person?

  • Accuracy

  • Are there any spelling problems?

  • Are there any mistakes in grammar?

  • Are there any mistakes in punctuation?

  • Is the choice of words appropriate?

  • Coherence and Cohesion

  • Are the paragraphs and sentences connected with linking words?

  • Are the ideas arranged in logical order?

  • Is the writing clear and easy to follow?




This page has been downloaded from www.campaignmilitaryenglish.com.

It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages.



 Macmillan Publishers Limited 2009






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