Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced their decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family last week. As it happens, I am dealing with current affairs and the media in my C2 classes. And as of next week, we will be talking about diversity and inclusion, tackling some aspects of race relations. That is why I decided to use this news story as an excuse to design some activities to link both units.
- Watch this clip from BBC’s Newsnight where royal correspondents discuss their views on the subject (source). Pay attention to the underlined expressions related to ‘getting information’:
2. Read the following opinion article on the treatment that the tabloids (and the media in general) have given to the couple, and especially, to Meghan Markle as mixed-race (source). Some sentences have been removed. Choose from sentences A-G the one which fits each gap (1-6) best. There is an extra sentence which you do not need to use.
The text includes a wide range of vocabulary, with some expressions which might actually be interesting to include in your wordstock; however, they may make it harder for you to understand the text. Should you have any trouble, you can click on this interactive version of the text on Thinglink:
3. Mediation in writing: You are a team of journalists working for El País in English. You have been asked to write a news story for their website on Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior royals.
El País is a serious newspaper. Therefore, they tend to use:
- formal register
- impersonal style (for example, passive voices)
- it should read as objective as possible
- they tend to check collocations carefully. (Help with that: https://natalialzam.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/online-collocation-dictionaries/)
- they like to incorporate some serious media catchphrases
Read the following source https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10721340/queen-arrives-church-summit-meghan-harry/ and select the relevant information
- Think about how you would express those ideas in a way which is more suitable for your newspaper and your target audience.
- Write a 150-175 word news story.
Download the pdf version of the source article (text only)
4. Follow-up: Share your views on Twitter. Use the hashtag #Megxit to be part of the conversation. [I opened a shared Twitter account for my students so that they would not need to use a personal account. Using Twitter provides real online interaction, and it seems only natural to use social media when discussing ‘the media’ in 2020].
- How do you feel about #Megxit? Do you feel for them? Deep down, are you saying ‘good riddance’?
- Do you support their decision to step down as senior members of the family?
- Have they been harassed into leaving by the press, especially the tabloids?
- Should they continue to be supported financially by the Crown (i.e. by British taxpayers)?