C1 - Lesson 03

Part 1 : Video Lesson & Transcript

Part : Listening & Reading comprehension

Part 3 : Use of English

Part 4 : Grammar lesson

Part 5 : Writing an essay & corrections

Part 6 : Speaking, interaction, & explanations.


Please make sure you unfold each content for each part of the lesson.  Merci de déplier chaque contenu pour chaque partie de cette leçon.



See instructions beneath the video.


The fundamental right to seek asylum


The fundamental right to seek asylum

Refugee and immigrants rights attorney Melanie Nezer shares an urgently needed historical perspective on the crisis at the southern US border, showing how citizens can hold their governments accountable for protecting the vulnerable. "A country shows strength through compassion and pragmatism, not through force and through fear," she says.




1) Listen to the video without reading the text / transcript

2) Then Listen to the video again reading the transcript as you listen.

3) Then listen to the video again without reading the transcript.



Last summer, I got a call from a woman named Ellie. And she had heard about the family separations at the southern border and wanted to know what she could do to help. She told me the story of her grandfather and his father. When they were kids in Poland, their father, fearing for his son's safety, gave them a little bit of money and told them to walk west, to just keep walking west across Europe. And they did. They walked all the way west across Europe, and they got on a boat and they got to America. Ellie said that when she heard the stories of the teens walking up across Mexico, all she could think about was her grandfather and his brother. She said that for her, the stories were exactly the same. 


Those brothers were the Hassenfeld Brothers -- the "Has" "bros" -- the Hasbro toy company, which, of course, brought us Mr. Potato Head. 


But that is not actually why I'm telling you this story. I'm telling you this story because it made me think about whether I would have the faith, the courage, to send my teens -- and I have three of them -- on a journey like that. Knowing that they wouldn't be safe where we were, would I be able to watch them go? 


I started my career decades ago at the southern US border, working with Central American asylum seekers. And in the last 16 years, I've been at HIAS, the Jewish organization that fights for refugee rights around the world, as a lawyer and an advocate. And one thing I've learned is that, sometimes, the things that we're told make us safer and stronger actually don't. And, in fact, some of these policies have the opposite of the intended results and in the meantime, cause tremendous and unnecessary suffering. 


So why are people showing up at our southern border? Most of the immigrants and refugees that are coming to our southern border are fleeing three countries: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. These countries are consistently ranked among the most violent countries in the world. It's very difficult to be safe in these countries, let alone build a future for yourself and your family. And violence against women and girls is pervasive. People have been fleeing Central America for generations. Generations of refugees have been coming to our shores, fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, in which the United States was deeply involved. This is nothing new. What's new is that recently, there's been a spike in families, children and families, showing up at checkpoints and presenting themselves to seek asylum. 


Now, this has been in the news lately, so I want you to remember a few things as you see those images. One, this is not a historically high level of interceptions at the southern border, and, in fact, people are presenting themselves at checkpoints. Two, people are showing up with the clothes on their backs; some of them are literally in flip-flops. And three, we're the most powerful country in the world. It's not a time to panic. It's easy from the safety of the destination country to think in terms of absolutes: Is it legal, or is it illegal? But the people who are wrestling with these questions and making these decisions about their families are thinking about very different questions: How do I keep my daughter safe? How do I protect my son? And if you want absolutes, it's absolutely legal to seek

it stems from the 1951 Refugee Convention, which was the world's response to the Holocaust and a way for countries to say never again would we return people to countries where they would harmed or killed. 


There are several ways refugees come to this country. One is through the US Refugee Admissions Program. Through that program, the US identifies and selects refugees abroad and brings them to the United States. Last year, the US resettled fewer refugees than at any time since the program began in 1980. And this year, it'll probably be less. And this is at a time when we have more refugees in the world than at any other time in recorded history, even since World War II. 


Another way that refugees come to this country is by seeking asylum. Asylum seekers are people who present themselves at a border and say that they'll be persecuted if they're sent back home. An asylum seeker is simply somebody who's going through the process in the United States to prove that they meet the refugee definition. And it's never been more difficult to seek asylum. Border guards are telling people when they show up at our borders that our country's full, that they simply can't apply. This is unprecedented and illegal. Under a new program, with the kind of Orwellian title "Migrant Protection Protocols," refugees are told they have to wait in Mexico while their cases make their way through the courts in the United States, and this can take months or years. Meanwhile, they're not safe, and they have no access to lawyers. 


Our country, our government, has detained over 3,000 children, separating them from their parents' arms, as a deterrent from seeking asylum. Many were toddlers, and at least one was a six-year-old blind girl. And this is still going on. We spend billions to detain people in what are virtually prisons who have committed no crime. And family separation has become the hallmark of our immigration system. That's a far cry from a shining city on a hill or a beacon of hope or all of the other ways we like to talk about ourselves and our values. 


Migration has always been with us, and it always will be. The reasons why people flee -- persecution, war, violence, climate change and the ability now to see on your phone what life is like in other places -- those pressures are only growing. But there are ways that we can have policies that reflect our values and actually make sense, given the reality in the world. 


The first thing we need to do is dial back the toxic rhetoric that has been the basis of our national debate on this issue for too long. 


I am not an immigrant or a refugee myself, but I take these attacks personally, because my grandparents were. My great-grandmother Rose didn't see her kids for seven years, as she tried to bring them from Poland to New York. She left my grandfather when he was seven and didn't see him again until he was 14. On the other side of my family, my grandmother Aliza left Poland in the 1930s and left for what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, and she never saw her family and friends again. Global cooperation as a response to global migration and displacement would go a long way towards making migration something that isn't a crisis but something that just is, and that we deal with as a global community. Humanitarian aid is also critical. The amount of support we provide to countries in Central America that are sending refugees and migrants is a tiny fraction of the amount we spend on enforcement and detention. And we can absolutely have an asylum system that works. For a tiny fraction of the cost of a wall, we could hire more judges, make sure asylum seekers have lawyers and commit to a humane asylum system. 


And we could resettle more refugees. To give you a sense of the decline in the refugee program: three years ago, the US resettled 15,000 Syrian refugees in response to the largest refugee crisis on earth. A year later, that number was 3,000. And last year, that number was 62 people. 62 people. 


Despite the harsh rhetoric and efforts to block immigration, keep refugees out of the country, support for refugees and immigrants in this country, according to polls, has never been higher. Organizations like HIAS, where I work, and other humanitarian and faith-based organizations, make it easy for you to take a stand when there's a law that's worth opposing or a law that's worth supporting or a policy that needs oversight. If you have a phone, you can do something, and if you want to do more, you can. I will tell you that if you see one of these detention centers along the border with children in them -- they're jails -- you will never be the same. 


What I loved so much about my call with Ellie was that she knew in her core that the stories of her grandparents were no different than today's stories, and she wanted to do something about it. 


If I leave you with one thing, beyond the backstory for Mr. Potato Head, which is, of course, a good story to leave with, it's that a country shows strength through compassion and pragmatism, not through force and through fear. 


These stories of the Hassenfelds and my relatives and your relatives are still happening today; they're all the same. A country is strong when it says to the refugee, not, "Go away," but, "It's OK, we've got you, you're safe." 


Thank you. 


  1. Listen to the video and answer all questions below  without reading the transcript /text of the video.
  2. Then read the transcript of the video and check your answers, before looking at the corrections.



Questions: According to the video, are the following statements true or false?Explain Why?


  1. The Hassenfeld brother's fled to America from the Czech republic.
  2. Most of the asylum seekers who arrive at the U.S Southern border come from Central America.
  3. Refugees arriving from Central American countries is a new phenomenon.
  4. The USA had nothing to do with refugee crises in the 1980s
  5. Asylum seeking at the southern border of the USA is at a historical high.
  6. People from the destination country tend to have a nuanced and balanced attitude to asylum seeking.
  7. The USA is settling more refugees than ever before.
  8. Seeking asylum is easier than ever.
  9. USA border guards are routinely breaking the law.
  10. The US government has recently detained 3000 children.
  11. Melanie Nezer has no personal connection the issue of refugees.
  12. There isn't very much support for refugees in the American public.




  1. False. They fled from Poland.
  2. True. Guatemala Honduras and El Salvador
  3. False. People have been fleeing Central American countries for generations.
  4. False. The USA was heavily involved in Civil Wars in these countries which caused many people to seek refuge in the USA
  5. False. “ this is not a historically high level of interceptions at the southern border”
  6. False. They tend to think in absolute terms of “legal” and “illegal”
  7. False. The USA is settling fewer refugees since the program began in 1980.
  8. False. It has never been more difficult.
  9. True. Telling people at the border that they cannot apply for asylum is illegal.
  10. True.
  11. False. Her grandparents were refugees
  12. False. Polls show that support has never been higher.




Look at this sentence from the video:


“Last year, the US resettled fewer refugees than at any time since the program began in 1980”


Why does the speaker use “fewer” instead of “less”?



If we want to say that there is a smaller quantity of something than the quantity of something else, we can use less or fewer. We use less with uncountable nouns, such as lemonade. We use fewer with countable nouns, such as bottle.



“ John drinks less lemonade than me.”

“ John drank fewer bottles of lemonade than me.”


Exercise: complete the gaps in the sentences with “less” or “fewer”

1.I have …..........hair than Jonathan.

2.There are.............................people here than last Summer

3.You should drink...............................wine.

4.You wouldn't be so fat if you ate........................food.

5.…........................men wear hats now than in the 1950s.

6.I saw................................live music this year.

7. I went to …......................concerts in the 1960s.




  1. Less
  2. Fewer
  3. Less
  4. Less
  5. Fewer
  6. Less
  7. Fewer




Traduire les phrases suivantes en anglais, issues du texte, puis retrouver ces phrases dans le texte en anglais:

1.Soyons franc, c'est la langue d'internet, la langue de la finance, la langue du traffic aérien, de la music populaire, de la diplomacie - l'Anglais est partout.


2. Aux dernieres nouvelles, il y a deux douzaines d'univerité en Chine qui enseignent l'anglais.









Essential Grammar in use p 234-235

Unit 113  A person who ...  a thing that/which ...

 (relative clauses 1)



Make one sentence from two

  1. (A man phoned me. He didn't give me his name.)   The man ..................
  2. (A woman opened the door. She was wearing a yellow dress.) The woman ..................... yellow dress.
  3. (some students took the exams. Most of them passed.) Most of the students.......................
  4. (A policeman stopped our car. He wasn't very friendly.) The ..............


  1. The man who phoned didn't give his name.
  2. The woman who opened the door was wearing a yellow dress.
  3. Most of the students who took the exam passed.
  4. The policeman who stopped our car wasn't very friendly.




suffering noun- physical or mental pain

pervasive adjective- present or noticeable in every part of a thing or place. Widespread.

flip-flops noun- a type of open shoe with a strap between the big toe and the adjacent toe

to panic verb- to become so frightened that you cannot think or behave rationally

compassion noun-a strong feeling of sadness and sympathy for the suffering of others and the desire to help them.

pragmatism noun-dealing with a problem in a sensible, realistic way

toxic adjective- very unpleasant and unacceptable

unprecedented adjective never having happened or existed in the past. Without precedent.

deterrent noun Something that deters or stops people from doing something.




Peseshet is a doctor and a teacher. The video describes a typical day of her life.

Now it is you turn. Write a text :

- Present yourself.

- Describe your profession.

- Tell what you did to get this job.

- Describe a typical day of your life : what usually happens when you are at work?




You can book a one to one class with a teacher who will correct your writing exercise.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.




You can book a one to one class with a teacher for the speaking.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.

Our online classes range from A1 to C2 levels, including specific class contents and online video classes.  They are designed to improve communication of spoken and written English with learner-centred lessons which help build students’ confidence, accuracy and fluency.

Our online learning classes offer an extensive level of flexibility for individual students, with comprehensive syllabus and content.