Burkini in France – level 3

29-08-2016 07:00

It’s rare that an item of clothing sparks such controversy, even to the point of polarising a nation, but after recent incidents of women being asked to remove their burkini in French beach resorts, it’s safe to say that this piece of fabric, has truly got people talking.

The so-called burkini is a linguistic melange of the Muslim garment, the burka, with a bikini. A swimsuit that covers a woman’s body, leaving only her face, hands and feet exposed.

Seemingly inoffensive, in 2009 a woman was banned from a public pool in Paris for wearing the item. Now, in the secular country, many French resorts are banning the garment entirely.

Although not everyone agrees, this French beach-goer says, “If someone besides him want to wear a burkini, he wouldn’t really care and that the majority of the population sees the ban as an infringement of rights.”

However, Prime Minister Manuel Valls defends the hard-line approach, calling the burkini a symbol of enslavement of women. He says that asking someone to remove their burkini is like if a woman in a public area were indecent, they’d too be asked to cover up.

Many critics argue that the ban could provoke violent reaction from Islamic terrorists in a country that’s already endured a slew of attacks. It may just be a piece of material, but for many, clearly, the burkini has a lot more underlying meaning to it.

Difficult words: spark (start), controversy (an emotional public discussion), polarise (divide into two groups), melange (a mixture), garment (an item of clothing), inoffensive (not offensive – rude), secular (not religious), entirely (completely), infringement (limiting something), hard-line (uncompromising, strict), enslavement (making somebody a slave), indecent (not being normal), endure (undergo), slew (a large number of something).

Source: www.ondemandnews.com


News in Levels is designed to teach you 3000 words in English. Please follow the instructions

How to improve your English with News in Levels: 


  1. Do the test at Test Languages.
  2. Go to your level. Go to Level 1 if you know 1-1000 words. Go to Level 2 if you know 1000-2000 words. Go to Level 3 if you know 2000-3000 words.


  1. Read two news articles every day.
  2. Read the news articles from the day before and check if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to the news from today and read the text at the same time.
  2. Listen to the news from today without reading the text.


  1. Answer the question under today’s news and write the answer in the comments.


  1. Choose one person from the Skype section.
  2. Talk with this person. You can answer questions from Speak in Levels.


Stock images by Depositphotos