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Focus question 3: Where have Australians' human rights come from and how are they protected?

ESL activities

Teacher instructions

Conduct activities 1, 2. Activities 3 to 6 are optional.

Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4 | Activity 5 | Activity 6 | Assessment task

Activity 1: Rights defined in the Australian Constitution

Vocabulary: Australian Constitution, referendum, compensation, compulsory acquisition, trial by jury, discrimination, abolish, adopted as official religion, funding, unanimous verdict, majority verdict, market price.

  • Explain the rights guaranteed by the Australian Constitution.
  • Draw the table on the board.
  • Clarify the situations.
  • Complete Situation a with the class, using the table, as an example.
  • Students complete the remaining Situations in small groups. (Consider dividing the number of situations among groups).
  • Conduct 1b as a class discussion.

Activity 2: Acts of Parliament - case studies

Vocabulary: Act of Parliament, Racial Discrimination Act, Ombudsman, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, common law, statute law, prejudice.

  • Conduct 2a and 2b as a whole-class exercise.
  • Explain 'Power of Acts of Parliament'.
  • Explain Case study 2. Students complete 2c in small groups.
  • Explain and conduct Case study 3 as for Case Study 2.

Activity 3: Court decisions - case study (optional)

Vocabulary: common law, statute law, prejudice.

  • Explain and conduct Case study 4 like the case studies in Activity 2.

Activity 4: Amnesty International and Councils for Civil Liberties (optional)

Vocabulary: non-party political.

  • Conduct as a class discussion.

Activity 5: Investigating democratic rights in Australia - case study (optional)

Conduct activities parts 5a to 5e only.

Vocabulary: free speech, political censorship, racial vilification.

  • Conduct this activity as a small group activity. Select an even number of groups. Assign half the groups the task of 'arguing for' and the other half the task of 'arguing against'.
  • Construct the table on the board. Record groups' arguments on the table.
  • Continue with parts 5d to 5e as a class discussion.

Activity 6: Applying a Bill of Rights (optional)

Conduct activity parts 6b, 6c, 6d only.

Vocabulary: Bill of Rights, cite, peaceful assembly, secret ballot, suffrage, campaign, placard.

  • Explain the notion of a Bill of Rights.
  • Conduct part 6b as a small group exercise.
  • Construct the table on the board. Record groups' responses on the table.
  • Conduct 6c and 6d as a class discussion.

Assessment task

  • Debating is a demanding task for ESL learners. Place them in groups of about five students. All group members work on preparing the information for the speeches. Nominated students do the presenting.

Back to 'Human Rights - At a glance'

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