Wednesday, 21 January 2009

"Let it be told to the future world..."

Today our main focus in class has been on President Obama and his inaugural address. Obama has promised change, and during his two first days of presidency he sure has made it clear to the world that change will come to the US. I decided to show the entire speech to my students, and although they had some problems understanding all that Obama was saying, they still managed to come up with interesting responses to the speech. "It just gives me goosebumps," one of the girls said, and I totally agree. This man is powerful; he is eloquent and well-spoken; he brings vitality and life into American politics, and might be the man to get the US back on track.

When planning this lesson I found some useful resources online. The New York Times had ready-made lesson plans on the inauguration, and I decided to use some of the questions from their material. I also found an article which summed up the inaugural speech and gave some comments on the day. I guess this article can help some of the students understand the speech a little better. Two of my colleagues came up with more questions to Obama's speech and a list of difficult words and phrases. This all resulted in this google document which we gave to the students.

I must admit that I had serious doubts before presenting this lesson plan to my students. Many find politics to be boring and cannot understand why they have to learn about political life in other countries. My impression after class today is, however, that most of them actually found Obama's speech interesting and that they could see the importance of this historical moment.

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