2.en.13 It’s happening: news coverage of migration issues

This is the first of a series of newspaper articles we’ll analyse this year. Headlines trap our attention and make readers want to know more. Also photos and captions are a way to give a face to news  stories .



Read the article and use the  worksheet  below to analyse the news story

A would-be immigrant needs to have a lot of courage — and be very desperate — to take to the treacherous waters of the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable toy boat with 12 companions to try to reach Spain.

On Monday, 27 sub-Saharans were rescued in open sea as they attempted to reach the shores of Europe, a 20-kilometer journey through water whipped up by the endless stream of vast tankers traveling between Morocco and Spain, and changeable ocean winds.

The method chosen by these would-be immigrants is risky, but cheap: tiny plastic boats, crammed with people, at the limit of their floatability and propelled by flimsy plastic oars. Each boat costs between 100 and 184 euros.

The Africans were located by search and rescue teams in four boats about halfway across the Strait. The northernmost boat was picked up six-and-a-half miles off the coast of Tarifa, Cádiz. In it were six immigrants, all of them male adults. Their combined weight would have far exceeded the 200 kilograms these beach boats are designed to take.

An alert call from Moroccan authorities caused the rescue teams to mobilize. Soon afterward two vessels, a Spanish coastguard and a Red Cross launch, found a second boat carrying seven men and a woman, who were taken to Tarifa. The Red Cross launch later brought in another eight men rescued from a third boat. At the same time a Moroccan Gendarmerie patrol boat intercepted the fourth boat and took its occupants to Tangier.

In recent weeks attempts to reach Spain in inflatable boats have increased, especially when the weather conditions in the Strait are not especially adverse. The rise in these kinds of attempt to reach Europe are largely attributable to the low cost of buying the boat and because their small size makes them difficult to pick up on radar. Taking their fates into their own hands, say Civil Guard sources, also means that the would-be immigrants do not have to deal with the mafias that organize larger vessels for the crossing.

In October, 23 people lost their lives in a spate of attempted crossings. The Spanish Border Control Agency said at the time that the number of immigrants reaching Spain this year had increased 6.5 percent over 2011.


2.en.12 Investigate migration flows

You have chosen a story from the New York Times article on belongings (2.en.10) . However, when you tried to present the story to your classmates, you discovered that you had forgotten essential information. Go through this check list. Can you answer all the questions?

Also, can you add extra information about the country of origin? the reasons  for leaving their country?

  1. How long have they been in the USA?
  2. Why did they leave their country?
  3. How old are they?
  4. What is their job?
  5. What did they do in their country of origin?
  6. Do they regret moving to the States?
  7. Do they give any details on their background and family life before they emigrated?
  8. What are their plans for the future?
  9. What is the object they have chosen to keep? 
  10. Why is it valuable for them?
  11. Use the interactive map to check the number of people who emigrate to the USA. Compare with other destinations


Use this interactive map to check the number of people who migrate to the USA. (arrivals) aslo compare it with departures. 


2.en.11 Migration: facts and figures

Watch this video about  migration and answer the following questions



1. The video talks about different types of migration. Explain with a few words the meaning of

  • Asylum seekers
  • Labour migration
  • Expert  migration

The video presents some figures about migration routes nowadays. Answer the following questions:

2. Where do most immigrants come from in the US?
3. Where do most  immigrants come from in  Europe?
4. Where do most immigrants come from In France, Portugal and Spain?  why?
5. Why is there a strong migration movement within Europe?
6. Why is sometimes migration seen as a threat?   the following aspects are mentioned in the video:

  • burden to the welfare system
  • different culture and religion
  • no integration

7. Which factor do you believe has a greater impact on people’s perception?
8. Can you counterargument? Can you highlight factors that consider migration a positive  phenomenon?
9. What have some countries done to restrict immigrants from coming to their countries?


2.en.10 On the move: Migration

Hi everyone! We have finished the block of contents dealing with travelling.  However, here we are  again, on the move, forced to pack. This time for a different reason, not just for pleasure.

Why do people migrate?

What are the push and pull forces that make people move?

 How do they feel about leaving their  belongings behind?

What do they take with them?

We shall start this term with an old suitcase full of  memories from distant lands. What do all these stories have in common? Well, you’ll  need to find out.  They were compiled by the New York Times a couple of years ago. Your teachers and your classmates last year found them inspiring.  We hope you do too.

Homework: Tuesday 11th Read the 12 stories and take notes in your notebook. Which story did you find the most interesting/ moving?  Why? Post your comments to the blog. In the power point, you will find the link to the  newspaper article. 

Also, read some of the comments generated by the article. Choose one and copy it in your notebook. Is there any contribution from a Spanish person ?