Man Denied Work Visa Due To Obesity

Listening to Different English Accents

Do your students need extra listening practice? Do you enjoy assigning authentic listening materials for homework? It’s helpful to introduce your students to many different English accents, including South African English.

Preview this audio clip from a recent BBC news interview. A South African man who suffers from obesity has been denied an extension of his work visa in New Zealand. He was told that his health could drain the country’s medical services.

 “They say that my health is not at an acceptable standard because I am overweight.” Albert Buitenhuis BBC

Play this recording for your students and have a discussion about it. (Or share a link with them and ask them to listen to it for homework.) You may need to play the recording a few times to make sure they understand the interview.

Key Vocabulary and Expressions from the Interview

  • BMI (body mass index)
  • in the blink of an eye
  • broke the camel’s back
  • temptation
  • kicked out
  • burden
  • horrendous
  • sensitive
  • on the dole
  • stuck between a rock and a hard place

Comprehension Questions

  • Why does  the government feel that this man’s health is not at an “acceptable standard”?
  • What does the earthquake have to do with this man’s problem?
  • How is the man currently dealing with the situation?

Discussion Questions

  • Do you agree with the South African man that all of this is “totally unfair”?
  • Do you agree with the interviewer that chefs have more food temptations than other people?
  • Should people on a work permit be allowed to “go on the dole”?
  • What suggestion would you have for this man and his wife?

Related in the ESL-Library

ESL Lesson Plan ObesityIf your students are interested in this topic, try our Discussion Starters lesson plan on “Obesity”. The FREE podcast preview for this lesson is available on our blog or on iTunes. The full lesson plan includes warm up questions, vocabulary review activities, comprehension questions, and discussion questions.

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