Where and when do you read? Do you only use digital platforms and read news, social media feeds and fiction online? Or do you sometimes pick up an actual newspaper or book to read? And how long does it last until you get distracted? By your thoughts, by something popping up on you cell phone screen, or by actual people, or real-life events?
Did you know that research shows that onscreen reading makes us more impatient? And that this Guardian article draws upon the same research, and adds a number of other studies from across the world to prove its point? The first task for you in today’s lesson is to read these two articles, the second longer than the first, and track your own reactions. As the first challenges you overtly to react a certain way, the second challenges you more covertly. How do you respond? Monitor your reactions and take notes along the way.
The second task this lesson is to read two more articles, one from BBC and one from UC Berkeley. They both encourage you to read, but for different purposes and within different genres, thus also presenting different strategies. Take notes, depending on your previous experience with study techniques. Did you learn anything new from reading these articles? Or do you already employ these strategies on a daily basis?
But the main question for today is: how did you do when asked to read almost an hour in one sitting?
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.
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:
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.
Using your impressions after watching the film Brick Lane, write a blog post on how the film portrays the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. Use Nasneen and another character from the film to illustrate your points.
She mentioned the importance of girls’ education and spoke about other sustainable development goals, such as Life below Water and the huge amount of plastics found in our oceans. She also spoke about Norway’s candidacy for a seat in the UN Security Council.
Listen to the whole speech/read the transcript here:
Yesterday, this article was posted in the New York Times. It relates directly to the topics we are working with, quality education and gender equality. It is about an incident in Pakistan where 14 schools, most of them for girls, where burned down during one night, in a district where only 11% of the girls know how to read and write.
As we watch the film, take notes, as you are to write a review afterwards. This will be graded.
Reflect on and include your own thoughts on the following questions in your review:
Which girls’ stories made the greatest impression on you? Why?
“One girl with courage is a revolution”. After watching the film, what does that phrase imply – do you agree or can you think of a better catchphrase?
Girl Rising is neither pure journalism, nor fiction. The filmmakers have tried to go beyond the facts into the human experience. Did you find yourself getting lost in the stories in a way that was interesting or effective? Why or why not?
The girls of Girl Rising live in very difficult circumstances. Yet they do not consider themselves as victims. Are you able, through the storytelling, to relate to their lives in a way that lets you empathize rather than sympathize? Why or why not?
What are the messages from the film that you think will resonate most strongly with people who are not already familiar with this issue?
If you need advice on how to write a review, you can read it here. Remember to include sources you have used.
Write a summary in your own words about what you learn from the two different sites. What is the actual problem? Why is Quality Education and Gender Equality so important that they take up two of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals?
And how are these two goals, 4 and 5, so intertwined? Explain and discuss.
Also include how you would like to work with these goals. Post this on your blog.
When you finish, read the short story “Chinasa” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adicie. You will find the story on It’s Learning and get it as a handout. Note down difficult words and look them up. Comment on how, if at all, this short story relates to UN Goals 4 and 5.
Many learning institutions outside of Norway demand a personal statement from their applicants. This statement is meant to set you apart, to show why you belong at this school, or this particular program. You have read an example of a personal statement, and now it is your turn to try:
Write a personal statement to a university/learning institution that tells about yourself- your hopes, ambitions, life experiences and inspirations. You could focus on your background and how this has shaped your dreams and aspirations, or tell about a personal talent or quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. How does this relate to what person you are? Remember to write persuasively.
UCAS has some tips on how to write your text:
– “Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the universities and colleges value most.
– Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
– Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
– Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
Goal no. 6 of the UN Sustainable Development Goal is “Clean Water and Sanitation.”
This is the last goal we will look at.
Why is access to clean water and sanitation so important? Why can this issue cause conflicts, both between companies, ethnic groups and even nations?
In pairs you will choose a water-related conflict and co-write a text about this conflict. You can do this by using Google Docs or Padlet – just remember that both of you need to have access to the document.
You will need to include:
what is the conflict about? Explain the issues, and what led to this conflict
where and for how long has this conflict taken place?
how is the conflict being handled? Protests, demonstrations, law suits, armed conflict, etc.
what kind of solution would you offer to this conflict?
On Wednesday, you will join another pair to talk about the conflict you have chosen, and to listen to the research they have done on another water-related conflict.
You will find a good overview of the water crisis here.
Below you find a link to a google docs document. Choose two rooms you want to participate in on International Day (one black and one red) and write your name in the corresponding box. No more than two students per class in each box!
Now find more information about the rooms (human library and other rooms/activities) in the link below. Make an information poster to be put on the door and which can also be shared with teachers and students before International Day. E-mail this to your teacher no later than Friday, October 27 1 pm.