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Making a point
The story for you to read today is part of a series about a group of Burmese and Karen people who live in Thailand. They live here, but are not Thai citizens so they do not have opportunities that Thai citizens have. For example, children cannot go to government schools. Today’s story is about someone who is helping those children, a doctor named Cynthia Maung.
When the writer sat down to write, she thought about how to begin telling Dr Cynthia’s story? Here is one way she could have done that:
Dr Cynthia Muang is a doctor who set up a school for children in her town because they could not go to any other school.
But that’s not what the writer, Santisuda Ekachai wrote. Read her introduction – the first two paragraphs. Who is that introduction about? Which introduction do you think creates the most interest?
Probably you thought that Ms Sanitsuda’s introduction was better. One of the basic rules of feature writing is ‘get the reader’s attention right at the beginning’. By focusing on one of the students in the school and letting us hear him speak, Ms Sanitsuda gets readers involved in the situation that led Dr Cynthia’s to start the school.
Now read the third paragraph. Then check to see how many times the word ‘dream’ is used in the first three paragraphs? By repeating that word, the writer has prepared us to find out how Dr Cynthia is trying to make dreams come true.
Making dreams come true
Below is a list of dreams that Dr Cynthia has for the school, based on information in the story. As you read the story, find out which of her dreams have been achieved and which goals have not yet been reached. Put a check mark in front of the dreams that have already come true.……. The school should provide full elementary education to grade six.
……. All the students should be able to speak, read and write Thai.
……. All students should learn Burmese language and culture.
……. Karen children should also speak Karen.
……. Students should have life skills (practical knowledge about living where they are and preparing them for the future).
……. The school should be self-supporting (have enough money for all its needs).
……. All the children who need to go to the school should be able to attend.
……. Families should be able to provide lunch for students.
……. The school should have as many teachers as necessary.
……. The school should teach a curriculum that allows students to enter the Thai educational system.
There are many fears and uncertainties for people living near the Thai-Burmese border. After you have read the story, complete each sentence below with an idea from the story about the uncertainties, worries or fears that they face. There is more than one way each sentence could be completed; you choose one idea.
Here is a base word that appears in different forms in the story: migrate (v): (of people) to move from one town, country, etc. to go and live and/or work in another for a short time. Adding the prefix ‘im’ makes ‘immigrate’ to move into a country to live, while adding ‘e’ forms ‘emigrate’ meaning to leave your country to live and work in another.
See if you can make the noun forms; add ‘ant’ for the basic noun …………………… . Add prefixes to name someone who 1) moves into a country ……………………. ; and 2) someone who leaves his or her country to live in another ……………………. .
Highlight as many of the words above as you can find in the story? Who do they apply to?
OUR STORY FROM THE BANGKOK POST