Migrants and Refugees

migration

Migrants and Refugees – People have moved to start new lives elsewhere for a variety of reasons since the beginning of time. Starting a new life in an unfamiliar place can be both exciting and terrifying. In this lesson, you will be able to understand that regardless of how far you move, a new place will create a new experience, which will shape your identity.

  • Time

    30-40 minutes

  • Main Skills

    Reading and Listening

  • Theme and topic

    Experiences: Migrants and Refugees

  • Download Available

    Reading Comprehension

Video
Listening
Reading
Vocabulary
Extension

The words migrant and refugee do not have the same meaning and confusing them can lead to big misunderstandings. Watch the video and answer the questions.

You will hear part of a talk about the reasons, that affect population change in New York. Match the areas of New York with the reasons for this change.

Read the text about a family of refugee's and answer the questions that follow.

Syrian brothers in Lebanon are a team on the football field and at home

Four young Syrian refugees in Lebanon work as a team to care for their brother with epilepsy, and dream of playing professional football to get him the medical treatment he needs.

In the living room of the El Jadoua’a family’s small apartment in Abbassiye, southern Lebanon, dozens of medals hang from the wall and a collection of trophies won at local tournaments covers an entire tabletop – a testament to eldest son Mohammad’s passion and talent for football.

Together with three of his football-mad younger brothers – Wissam, 16, Fadi, 15, and Mahmoud, 12 – Mohammad, 18, dreams of becoming a professional player. The brothers devote much of their time to practising in an empty lot near their home, under the guidance of a Lebanese family friend who coaches the boys for free.

“They started playing football with a ball made out of paper and tape,” the boys’ mother, Orouba, remembers. “Even if they don’t become professional players, for me, they mean the world. I will always have their medals hanging on my walls.”

She and her family have faced tragedy and hardship since the outbreak of the crisis in Syria. Her twin boys Hadi and Shadi were still young when they began to experience seizures, but Orouba and her husband were unable to find adequate medical treatment.

Hadi passed away shortly after, and the family fled Syria in 2011 to seek safety in Lebanon. But despite their best efforts to treat Shadi’s condition, his epilepsy was misdiagnosed, and after being prescribed the wrong medicine, his condition became worse. Now aged 11, he suffers from up to 14 seizures an hour. That means he requires round-the-clock care.

“Shadi’s condition is terrible,” Orouba says. “He needs to see a doctor who is an expert in his condition."

But the cost of sending Shadi to a specialist remains out of reach for the family. Orouba’s husband, Hussein, is the only breadwinner, earning just 60,000 Lebanese pounds a day working in a grocery shop - equivalent to just US $2.5 amid the hyperinflation of Lebanon’s ongoing financial crisis, which has wiped 90 per cent off the value of the country’s currency.

According to a 2021 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees now live in extreme poverty. Food prices have increased by 557% over the past two years, which, along with fuel shortages and currency devaluation, has pushed many Lebanese and refugee families close to breaking point.

Amid the crisis, the family has accumulated heavy debts that have left them unable to pay their rent. They only avoided eviction thanks to assistance from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. But they still struggle to feed themselves and were forced to withdraw the children from school due to the additional costs involved.

Denied the opportunity to get an education, Shadi’s brothers now put their hope in careers as professional footballers. The eldest, Mohammad, has excelled in local tournaments - as demonstrated by his impressive collection of medals and trophies - and his Lebanese coach says he has the talent to succeed if given the opportunity.

“Because he is Syrian, Mohammad is not allowed to play in official football championships in Lebanon,” he explains. “But I believe he can become a great player if he trains and plays at a [professional] level.”

The brothers’ commitment on the pitch is driven by more than purely footballing ambition. They dream of making it as professionals to improve the family’s circumstances and get their brother Shadi the specialist treatment he urgently needs.

Off the pitch, each plays an active role in Shadi’s care. “My eldest son, Mohammad, feeds him; Wissam showers him; Fadi clothes him; Mahmoud cannot sleep without Shadi next to him,” Orouba says.

Whether or not any of her boys make it as professional footballers, her pride in the way they look out for their brother and strive to improve his situation clearly shows.

“They are Shadi’s defenders. I know they’ll keep on standing by their brother no matter what life brings our way," she says.

“I feel they are one team - Shadi’s team.”

1. Select the five statements that are true according to the text.

 

Question 1 of 7

2a. What does the word in bold refer to?Four young Syrian refugees in Lebanon work as a team to care for their brother with epilepsy, and dream of playing professional football to get him the medical treatment he needs.

Question 2 of 7

2b. What does the word in bold refer to?“They started playing football with a ball made out of paper and tape,” the boys’ mother, Orouba, remembers. “Even if they don’t become professional players, for me, they mean the world.

Question 3 of 7

2c. What does the word in bold refer to?But despite their best efforts to treat Shadi’s condition, his epilepsy was misdiagnosed, and after being prescribed the wrong medicine, his condition became worse. Now aged 11, he suffers from up to 14 seizures an hour. That means he requires round-the-clock care.

Question 4 of 7

2d. What does the word in bold refer to?Amid the crisis, the family has accumulated heavy debts that have left them unable to pay their rent.

Question 5 of 7

According to a 2021 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees now live in extreme poverty. Food prices have increased by 557% over the past two years, which, along with fuel shortages and currency devaluation, has pushed many Lebanese and refugee families close to breaking point.

3. The phrase “breaking point” means that they …

Question 6 of 7

4. The text aims to …

Question 7 of 7


 

Full text available at UNHCR Asia Pacific

Here are the keywords and phrases to learn:

  • accumulated
  • adequate
  • conflict
  • devote
  • eviction
  • financial crisis
  • food shortages
  • fuel shortages
  • fundamental
  • immigration laws
  • persecution
  • poverty
  • testament

The questions can be used to discuss and research findings in groups and write essays based on their opinions and research.

  1. Some people are forced to leave their home environments because their natural environment is no longer habitable. We can view these people as forcibly displaced. To what extent should international law and organizations provide shelter for them? Should these people be classified as refugees?
  2. If a country is struggling to provide for its own citizens, should it take in refugees? What reasons are there for taking in or not taking in refugees?
  3. Should refugees have to go back to their country once it is safe or should they have the option of staying and requesting residency or citizenship in their new country? What about children born to refugees in that country? What are the benefits to the host county and country the refugee originally came from of staying or returning?
  4. Refugees are looking for protection but migrants are looking for a better standard of living or better work opportunities therefore other countries should not allow them to come in.
  5. The history of the world is such that everyone is a migrant.

More teaching resources available here.

More reading tasks available now!

IB English B Language Skills

  • Listening & Speaking

    Skills to communicate both professionally and socially.

  • Reading

    Skills to stimulates imagination memory and recall information

  • Writing

    Skills to foster the ability to explain and refine ideas.

IB English B Themes

  • Experiences

    Opportunities to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

  • Human Ingenuity

    Opportunities to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

  • Identities

    Opportunities to discover interests, values, belief and culture.

  • Sharing The Planet

    Opportunities to look at the challenges faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

  • Social Organization

    Opportunities to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

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