Students practise a range of different skills in relation to the topic of defamation.

This lesson looks at the law of defamation in the United Kingdom - libel and slander - and focuses on the outcome of a recent case, often called the ‘McLibel’ case. As well as being the longest trial in English civil case history, it was also remarkable as the defendants represented themselves in person.

Aim: To practise the skills of:

  • reading and understanding information in a text about UK defamation law
  • using the information to discuss and give legal advice about examples
  • reading an authentic newspaper article to understand the construction of a text by replacing missing paragraphs
  • guessing meaning of vocabulary and phrases related to text
  • answering questions about the text

Level: At least upper intermediate and above

Structure: This lesson could be divided into two parts. The first part covers the background to defamation with students working through the examples and giving feedback.
The second part deals with the McLibel text and exercises.

Time needed: The lesson is in 5 parts and if divided into 2 sessions: Parts 1 and 2, then Parts 3 to 5: these could easily take in excess of two hours in total.


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