The Reluctant Fundamentalist

We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Write a blog post where you comment on:

  • your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
  • on the vacation in Greexe – Changez describes the group he travels with (excepting Erica) in different ways – how? And what does it say about his opinion of them? See if you can find at least one quote to underline your statements.
  • What does Changez tell Erica about Pakistan?
  • Why do you think he says that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability?” (p. 31). How does his audience react to this?

After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 3.

Across Cultures

Part of living in a globalized world is our encounter with foreign cultures, both at school and at work. To develop an understanding and respect for other cultures is quintessential in order to succeed in a globalized world. It can also prevent cultural misunderstanding and blunders.

Our class has therefore studied the cultural iceberg and discussed its meanings. In addition, we have looked at various songs and videos where cross-cultural communication is an issue. The poem “The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping” by Grace Nichols is a good example of different value systems and cultures. Can you think of what the theme(s) and messages in this poem are?

 

The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping

  1. Watch these two clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed7C3gAXQNA&feature=related
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTtVVHg41kU&feature=related

3. What are the differences and similarities between these two clips?

4. Discuss: Do you think the shopping experiences of the black woman would have been different if she was a. Tall and slim and b. A beautiful white woman. c. A rich black woman. d. A black man?

5.Write your own poem, a micropoem (Twitterpoem) of no more than 140 characters. It could be written as a poem/blogpost/comment. E.g.

Shopping

Is enjoyable to those with a thick wallet and credit card

Nothing similar to those whose ward

Is the empty bank account

That only dismount

To complete blood count

The wolfs of the credit card

Which only disregard

The scarred shopper the whopper

Who needs to be put in a locker

Comparison book and film The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Write a blog post where you compare the book and the film. Watch the trailer to the film and an interview with the author, Mohsin Hamid  and the director, Mira Nair linked to in this blog post  

In your blog post, comment on differences in plot, character descriptions and relationships, as well as focus and message in the film vs the book. To what extent do you think that these changes are justified or even improve the story? Or do you think they contribute to the film losing all the subtlety and complex ambiguity of the novel, as argued in this review ?

 

 

Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globe Speech

Find it here. At the top of the article is just a short clip, while at the bottom you find the entire speech on film. The article contains a transcript of the speech.

You can use this transcript to look for language features and literary devices she uses in her speech. This is excellent practice for task 1a on the exam.

Speeches on Multiculturalism

Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, held a famous speech on multiculturalism in 2012 at the Munich Security Conference. Current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, held a famous speech in 2015 at the Assembly of First Nations, where he announced that Canada was going to renew its relationship with its native groups.

After having seen Cameron’s speech, write a blog post of about 400 words where you present the basic ideas of the speech, comment on the speaker’s attitude and way of presenting his ideas to the audience. Also, choose one of the following statements and discuss them in writing on your blog.

  • Non-violent extremists are just as dangerous as violent ones.
  • Universities are bastions of freedom of speech and democracy; therefore, all ideologies no matter how extreme should be allowed to be taught.
  • Multiculturalism separates groups of people from each other, assimilation should be encouraged.

On Wednesday, January 10th, we are going to watch Trudeau’s speech and blog the assignment handed out to you in class about how the Prime Minister and Canadian politicians have followed through on the promises made in this 2015 speech.

 

 

In the news…

The #metoo campaign has inspired women everywhere to come forward and tell their stories about harassment and abuse.

Read the stories of Maryam Mehtar, Shaharzad Akbar, Zubaida, and several other women choosing to stay anonymous in fear of serious repercussions, in The New York Times.

Write a short post where you:

  1. Write an introduction of what you already know of the #metoo campaign and the silence breakers.
  2. Include a quote from the article, and discuss/explain why this quote spoke to you and why you chose to include it in your post.
  3. Reflect on what you learn from this post – what kind of impression does it give you of Afghan society – how do you think the harassment culture can be changed, both in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

Metoo.png

(Picture borrowed from http://subversify.com/2017/10/19/metoo/)

Preparing for the term test

Testing, testing, testing… Students are tested in every subject more or less all the time and International English is no exception!  To prepare for this we arrange term tests, because we want our students to be equipped for a written exam.  On December 5, Målfrid’s students worked with task 1 of a former exam. You can also listen to the speech as a Ted Talk. We want to share our knowledge with others and have made a padlet about literary devices and language features which you can access here.

Although we use blogs in our teaching, we still want our students to use a formal, academic style. Here is some useful guidance.  Good luck with your term tests!

exam