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Teaching tips on the UN

The UN provides great stimulus for debate. GCSE requirements to "explain, describe, narrate" and "argue and persuade" can be met via any number of UN case studies. A group could be asked to present a three-minute precis of the UN's history, or of the reasons for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Another group could adopt roles in relation to the conflict - for example, a Sunni Iraqi angry at US aggression, or a Kurdish dissident who lost relatives under the old regime, or a diplomat who feels that the UN has been undermined. The views of these characters could be condensed into 250-word statements for students to discuss. It is an ideal way to demonstrate synthesis - a key requirement for higher grades in this mode of speaking and listening.

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