The English-speaking world

the_English_Speaking_World_0The English-speaking world is huge…we often limit ourselves to studying the USA, Great Britain, and maybe Canada and Australia… During the next couple of weeks we are going to take a look at English-speaking countries outside of these main areas. Pick a country where English is an official language.

  1. Find out about the variety of English spoken here, and how it differs from standard English in pronunciation and vocabulary. Why is English an official language in this country (look at history)?
  2. Present an author and a literary text from this country. This could be a novel, a short story or a poem, written in the English language. What is it about, and is there a message the author is trying to get across? How is this message carried across/the story told (literary techniques)? Main themes?
  3. Present a contemporary issue from this country. This could be something you find in the news (remember that all English-speaking countries have their own English-speaking news media, so CNN and BBC should not be your only sources here…) or something you have heard about being a challenge/problem in this country.

You can work individually or in pairs. Present your findings on your blog and be ready to share them with the rest of the class. Use pictures and statistics, or add a video or sound file,  but make sure you only use material that you are allowed to share and refer to where you have taken it from.

 

Ingunn

Gran Torino

Gran Torino is a film released in 2008 that features Clint Eastwood as the main character as well as him being the director. Today’s subject day will be dedicated to watching and working with this film. It provides a range of topics to discuss, from multiculturalism and cultural differences, to various socioeconomic challenges, and shows a number of approaches to the value of human life.

We will primarily work in groups: before we watch the film by studying and discussing the film poster, and after the film we will delve into discussions around possible themes that come to mind while watching it. The end result will be an individual blog post that you publish on your own blog at the end of the day, based on questions handed out in class and the group discussions during the day.

Hilde

Studying abroad project

Many of us dream (or have done so) about studying somewhere that is else – experiencing a different country, culture and climate while getting a degree at the same time.

Having spent time abroad can also look good on your resume when applying for future jobs, it might say something about your ability to adapt to new settings, to working in a language not your own, and your sense of adventure.

person holding terrestrial globe scale model taken
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

For the next weeks, you will plan your year of studying abroad, and then present this plan orally. Here’s what you need to do:

First you need to find out what you want to study and where. You can take this test https://www.educations.com/career-test if you need inspiration.

Find a real university that offer this study program and find out what you need to do to apply there. Grades, college interview, personal statement, recommendations from teachers??? How much does it cost to study there?  Do you need some sort of student visa – how do you get that? http://www.ansa.no/ is a website that offers a lot of information about these sort of things.

What kind of student activities do this town offer? What do you want to do in your spare time? Plan this too. 

Where will you live? Find a place – look at actual listings for apartments or student dorms in your chosen city.  https://www.goabroad.com/articles/study-abroad/best-student-accommodation-websites

What about the culture in this country – are there rules of behavior you need to adapt to? Communications, festivals, food, religions…

Make a prezi, a power point or a video where you present your study plans. This will be graded orally.

There is no required LENGTH – I know how much you love to ask about that, but if you want a good grade you should make sure that you answer all the assignment asks of you.

You are also to write a personal statement, which will be graded as well. We will work with how to write a personal statement in class, so save that for then.

Useful websites:

https://no.studyacrossthepond.com/anbefalingsbrev/bachelor/referent

https://www.kilroy.no/utdanning?gclid=Cj0KCQiA1sriBRD-ARIsABYdwwGEG6rwwsYu2JfK9jQxoTZn17I-WDqhStgQxKx8udcQs5gnCyf2qu4aAmZ7EALw_wcB

https://capaworld.capa.org/5-sites-to-prepare-you-for-study-abroad

https://www.goabroad.com/articles/study-abroad/best-student-accommodation-websites

Kompetansemål:

  • finne fram til og drøfte internasjonale utdanningstilbud og arbeidsmuligheter
  • reflektere over hvordan kulturforskjeller og ulike verdisystem kan påvirke kommunikasjon
adult book business cactus
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Criteria for evaluation:

1-2 3-4 5-6
Presentation Has a simple presentation, does not look at the audience, bound by script, no creativity Has some contact with the audience, somewhat free from the script, uses some creativity in his/her presentation Has good contact with the audience, knows the script by heart, creative and independent presentation
Content Simple content, has worked very little with different sources, shows little independent thought and research. Answers only some of the assignment given. Good content with some independent research, has clearly worked with different sources. Answers the assignment. Independent and well-researched content, and a thorough answer of the assignment. Explains and gives examples.
Pronunciation Has a clear Norwegian accent, struggles with pronouncing a lot of words Has a good pronunciation overall, struggles with some words. Pronunciation and accent are close to, or, flawless
Vocabulary Has a simple vocabulary, uses a lot of repetition and little variation. Has a broad vocabulary, with some more advanced words. Shows that he/she understands the words they use. Has an advanced and varied vocabulary, varies in sentence structure and length. Understands and are able to use and explain difficult concepts and definitions.

Hanna

Two immigrant voices

Comedians Trevor Noah and Hasan Minhaj use their own experiences and background in their stand-up shows «Homecoming King» and «Son of Patricia».

Write a blog post in which you discuss how they use examples from their own lives to illustrate their experience as immigrants in the USA.

Choose one or two of the sub topics they include in their shows and comment on the questions below:

Do you think other immigrants can recognise the challenges the two talk about being an immigrant or part of an immigrant family? Why? Why not?

Can we learn something about being an immigrant watching these shows? Explain.

Elin and Hanna

 

The Disunited State of America

Ever since it became an independent country, the dream of a free America “for all” has been present. America had much “empty” land, and people could seek refuge and new opportunities there.

It has always been a country of many cultures, more and more as time went on.

Today we read about the “Disunited Peoples of America” – how people are divided in their views on multiculturalism and how inequality and racism continue to cause problems in the US.

Here you will find letters written between Eddie Glaude and his son Langston in 2016, after a brutal incident of police violence in Louisiana.

Read the letter and write a blog post where you comment on the following:

  • what are the events Eddie and Langston are referring to?
  • What is the message in each of these letters?
  • What kind of impression do you get from the unity, or disunity of the American society from reading these letters?

 

-Hanna

 

Cultural differences in the Kite Runner

As we are finishing The Kite Runner, the main character has spent many years both in his homeland and as an immigrant in the US. Through Amir we are introduced to both an Afghanistan before and under Soviet rule, and then finally, we get a glimpse of a devastated country under the Taliban.

How did the descriptions of Afghanistan agree with or differ with the ideas and impressions you already had of this country?

What cultural differences become evident in the parts set in the US?

How easy is it for Afghans to settle and find their place in the US?

Write a ONE paragraph blog post answering these questions.

Character sketches

Having read the first seven chapters of The Kite Runner (2003), you have probably started to get to know some of the important characters. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist? Who is your favorite character and so forth…

A character sketch is a short description of a character based on what the book has told you so far. Remember that you get to know a character not just from descriptions the book makes of him/her, but also through actions, thoughts and conversations this character is shown to have.

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Choose a character from The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan, Assef, or someone else, and write a character sketch. Find quotations from the book to emphasize your points.

Example of the beginning of a character sketch. Amir is the narrator of the story. He lives in San Fransisco, but grew up in Kabul in the 1970s with his father, Baba, and servants Ali and Hassan. He has a complicated relationship with his father, “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him” (p.4). Amir seems lonely, and it seems like his father wants very little to do with him, or takes little interest in him.” … and then it continues