Discovering Democracy Units
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Focus question 1: How can Australian citizens influence government action?

ESL activities

Teacher information

Conduct all activities.

Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4 | Activity 5

Student Introduction

Vocabulary: dramatic political confrontation, skilfully managed a campaign, proposed, toppled, federal government, power, United Nations, international treaties, High Court, constitutional, override, heritage law, citizens' action movement.

  • Introduce the topic and the issues to the class, clarifying difficult vocabulary and concepts.

Activity 1: How can people influence others?

Vocabulary: tactics, throw a tantrum, cast-iron logical argument, direct involvement, influence, citizen, government, rugged, understatement, ice age, landscape, gorges, rapids, contrasting areas, tranquil, endangered.

  • Conduct 1a and 1b as a class discussion.
  • Discuss the characteristics of 'The South-west of Tasmania: portrait of a region'.

Activity 2: Development and environment

  • Read 'The South-west: not just an area of beauty' with the class, clarifying difficult vocabulary and concepts: remoteness, difficulty of access, keen to exploit, resources, physical beauty, devastated landscape, grim testimony, fragile environment, significant schemes, tap resources, generation, hydro-electric power, Commission, accepted unquestioningly, expansion, capacity, attracting industrial development, conservationist, proposal, rouse public opinion, junction, carefully managed tourism.
  • Conduct 2a as a pair exercise, placing ESL learners with students who have better spoken English. Record responses on the board.
  • For 2b, continue to use pairs and conduct as described. Clarify difficult vocabulary and concepts in the sources: providing for, condemn, live in a depressed manner, failing, a world matter, heritage, back yard, future generations.

Activity 3: Citizen action

  • Instruct groups with ESL learners to watch the Discovering Democracy Secondary Video segment for this unit before reading the sources.
  • If using the sources with ESL learners, reduce the number; most of those on this page use more accessible language.
  • Clarify vocabulary and concepts in the sources as required: anti-dam, emotional, rally, pensioners, campaign, arrested, spokesperson, trespass, blockade, official, bulldozer, barge, ploughed through, sound its siren, commitment to, demonstration, slogan, strategy, polling day, volunteers, referendum, brochure, communication centre, non-violent action workshops, familiarisation, techniques of peaceful resistance, coalition, donors, stall-holders, bolstered, spontaneous support.
  • Use the suggested table; construct an example with the class related using one source.

Activity 4: Citizen action - Franklin and beyond

  • Conduct this activity in groups as suggested, but allow a joint group construction of responses to the questions.

Activity 5: Your view

  • For 5a, record the class discussion decisions on the board.
  • For 5b (optional), place ESL learners in small groups and conduct the letter writing as a joint construction. Provide examples of letters to the editor.

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