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Focus question 4: Who rules in Australia?

ESL activities

Handout 9, 11-13

Teacher instructions

Conduct all activities.
Activity 1 is modified.
The 'Further activity' used after Activity 6 is optional.
Handouts 9 (reused), 11, 12, 13, and 'right to vote' cards.

Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4 | Activity 5 | Activity 6 | Further activity | Activity 7

Activity 1: Who rules here?

Vocabulary: innocent, guilty, proof, courts, trial, party, government, parliament, Prime Minister, election, member, law is passed.

Handout 11 prepared as cards (one complete set between two) and Handout 12 (one between two).

  • Organise pairs so ESL learners work with a partner who has a better command of English.
  • Distribute one set of cards to each pair.
  • Distribute Handout 12 to each pair.
  • Explain the language on the cards.
  • Students match the cards to the pictures.
  • Conduct the discussion for 1f as described.

Activity 2: Who can be an Australian citizen?

Vocabulary: citizen, migrant, citizenship, vote.

  • Inform students they are going to look at who rules in Australia and see how it compares with Ancient Egypt and Athens.
  • For 2a, recall Egypt and Athens by asking:
    • How was the ruler decided in Egypt?
    • Who made the laws?
    • Who made the laws in Ancient Athens?
    • In which place did the citizens have a say in ruling the country?

  • Focus on Australia. Ask:
    • Do Australians have a say in how Australia is ruled?
    • Do Australians have a say in what laws are made?
  • Write on the board: 'The right to vote gives Australian citizens a say in how Australia is ruled.'
  • Ask: Does every Australian citizen have the right to vote?
  • Revise the criteria for citizenship in Ancient Athens and record on the board using a table format like the one for Activity 3.
  • Continue with 2b adding the criteria for voters in Australia.
  • Continue with 2c and 2d.

Activity 3: Random selection

Vocabulary: permanent resident, temporary resident.

  • Conduct this activity as described. Consider placing ESL learners in a group which corresponds with their actual category.

Activity 4: Choose representatives

Vocabulary: choose by lot, representative.

  • Conduct this activity using a single important issue rather than a range. Avoid placing the names of ESL learners in the draw if you have concerns.

Activity 5: Vote for representatives

Vocabulary: policy, ballot, ballot paper.

  • Conduct this activity as described.
  • Clarify the key points of the policies presented.

Parliament at Work

Activity 6: Government in Australia

Vocabulary: election, electorate, Federal Parliament, House of Representatives, Senate, Senator, Member of Parliament, governor-general, representative democracy.

  • If possible, prepare ESL learners for this activity in advance by discussing and explaining the key components of government in Australia, using visual support such as The Commonwealth Poster.
  • Place ESL learners in teams with students who have better spoken English.
  • Conduct the activity as described.

Further activity: (Optional)

  • Show students video of a sitting of Parliament. Ask them to list five things about the building or the people (colour, speaker, shape, topic etc).

Activity 7: Comparison

  • Conduct as described.
  • This activity can be reused as an oral assessment task for ESL learners.

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