SPECTATOR COLLEGE

Exercise: Lobby groups call for more Slovak food

This exercise is linked to the article: Lobby groups call for more Slovak food.

This exercise is linked to the article: Lobby groups call for more Slovak food.

Opener (writing) to put on the board: What is your favourite traditional Slovak meal and why? When do you first remember tasting it, and what was the atmosphere like/who cooked it for you? How do you make it? How do you think Slovak food is unique? *Students should answer these questions on a piece of paper (in at least one 8-10 sentence paragraph to turn in, depending on if you want to grade it).

Speaking: Call on several students (you can call on every student depending on the class size/how much time you have), and ask them to share some of their answers.

Reading/listening: Read the Spectator article out loud as a class, calling on different students at random to read a few paragraphs at a time. Instruct students to underline statements that stand out to them in the article. Go over any words that students aren’t sure of. Call on a student and ask what he/she thinks is the main point of the article (that the percent of Slovak-produced foods sold in Slovakia has fallen), and ask another student why he agrees/disagrees with whether that is the main point. Try and create some discussion.

Writing/critical thinking: Print and pass out copies of the following statements from the Spectator article, and break the class into small groups (preferably groups of two-three students). Instruct them to take turns reading the statements out loud and discuss the reasoning behind them, and also whether they agree/disagree with the statements and why.

• If Slovakia does not start focusing on food self-sufficiency, or food security, in a couple of years it will not be able to feed its own people.
• Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek has introduced the idea of a fund into which Slovak food producers would pay a special fee, which would then be used for the promotion of Slovak food products.
• Yet, critics worry that it might only represent the interest of a narrow group of producers.
• Under the pressure of the economic crisis, this group has vanished, while things have returned to the ‘old ways’ when price was the key factor influencing consumer behaviour.
• When asked to name the most typical Slovak dish, every Slovak would respond first with bryndzové halušky.
• Vegetarians will likely find it rather difficult to enjoy Slovakia’s meat-heavy cuisine.

This exercise is published as part of Spectator College, a programme created by The Slovak Spectator with the support of Sugarbooks, a distributor of foreign language books. The author works at the Evanjelické lýceum in Bratislava as an English-language instructor.

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