The heroes of 9/11

293042_3394959847606_586626159_n

On the morning of 11 September 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial passenger jets flying out of airports on the east coast of the United States.

Two of the aircraft were deliberately flown into the main two towers (the Twin Towers) of the World Trade Center in New York, with a third hitting the Pentagon in Virginia.

The fourth plane never reached its intended target, crashing in Pennsylvania. It is believed that the passengers and crew overpowered the hijackers and took control of the plane.

The Twin Towers were widely considered to be symbols of America’s power and influence. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the US Department of Defense.

Both 110-floor World Trade Center towers subsequently collapsed and substantial damage was caused to one wing of the Pentagon. Numerous other buildings at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan were destroyed or badly damaged.

The total loss of life on 9/11 was nearly 3,000, including the 19 hijackers. It was the worst loss of life due to a terrorist incident on US soil.

The days that followed saw a significant effect on world economic markets and international confidence.

 

Here are a few links to videos and articles about the events of 9/11 but also about the stories of the heroes we will never forget.

Various articles and videos of the events of 9/11 : History Channel

Stories of heroism : Business Insider

Heroism on 9/11 (video) : History Channel

Remembering the heroes: article

The lost hero of 9/11 : BBC radio programme  – excellent for listening practice (MYTHS AND HEROES)

Publicités

The Invictus Games

An ideal topic for illustrating the notion of Myths and Heroes, The Invictus Games are a project of Prince Harry’s: an Olympics-like sporting event for active duty military and veterans who are ill or have been wounded by war. Prince Harry decided to start the event after visiting the Warrior Games in the United States, and the first Invictus Games were held in London in 2014.

The name, too, comes from England. The games are named after the poem “Invictus” by English 19th-century poet William Ernest Henley, written as he recovered from a leg amputation. Its last lines have been quoted often by world leaders, including Churchill and Obama himself.

invictus-poem

For four days in Orlando next week, more than 500 athletes will challenge each other in 10 events, ranging from basketball, rugby and tennis for wheelchair users to archery and powerlifting. Fifteen countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, will send men and women to compete.

  • Read more about the Invictus story here
  • What is the Invictus foundation? Read here
  • What was behind Prince Harry’s inspiration to set up these games?

Even the Queen is taking part in promoting the event:

 

 The fact that the Queen and the Obamas take part in promoting the event could also be used to illustrate the notion of places and forms of power. The Queen playing a role in the promotion is a big boost to the event!

 

St Patrick’s Day

 

ST-PATRICKS-DAY2-images-and-graphics

Here are a few links to practice your listening comprehension and also learn about the myths and legends behind St Patrick’s Day

Videos on the « History » Channel

Things you didn’t know about St Patrick’s Day : video

Why does the colour green represent this holiday? : video

Was St Patrick Irish? : video

 

Finally here are some newspaper articles on the subject:

Facts and figures (Guardian)

How Irish are you ? A quiz and some myths about St Patrick’s Day (Daily Telegraph)

 

Les oraux approchent….. quelques vidéos utiles pour répondre à vos questions

Des vidéos très utiles et très claires avec quelques exemples pour l’épreuve d’expression orale.

(Source France TV Education)

Méthodologie expression orale

Places and forms of power

Myths and heroes

Spaces and exchanges

Idea of Progress

Des idées de problématiques pour présenter les notions

Mis en avant

Question Mark and Thinker

Vous êtes nombreux à me demander de vous aider à trouver des idées de « problématique » (key questions) pour vos oraux. Il n’est pas évident de proposer une problématique qui pourrait être utilisée par tout le monde car vous avez tous étudié des textes et documents différents. Je vais donc plutôt vous donner quelques idées de problématiques simples par notion… à vous de les adapter à vos textes et documents utilisés en cours.

Je vais mettre à jour l’article régulièrement – comme toujours sur le blog n’hésitez pas à proposer d’autres problématiques dans la partie « commentaires » – ça pourrait toujours inspirer les autres!

Myths and Heroes

What is a modern-day/contemporary hero? What impact do they have on our lives?

How can an ordinary person make the world a better place?

Why are sports heroes so important in today’s society?

To what extent does Barack Obama represent the black American dream?

To what extent did Rosa Parks/ Martin Luther King/Malcolm X contribute to the improvement of black American’s rights?

To what extent do myths represent society’s values?

In today’s society to what extent is there a need for myths, something to believe in that is greater than we are?

What is the role of the media in the making of heroes?

Is it useful for society to have « superheroes »?

What is the role of the media in the rise and fall of certain « heroes »?

Why are myths and heroes so important to our society?

In what way are heroes portrayed in Hollywood movies? How does this reflect our society today?

From rags to riches: Self-made men/women – how did they do it?

The Queen of England : why do the British love her so much?

 

Spaces and Exchanges

What drives people to leave their country to go and live in another country?

Is the American Dream still alive? What attracts immigrants to live in the USA?

Has the Olympic ideal of fair play and tolerance been now replaced by money, drugs and politics?

What are the different conflicts that have shaped the US society? What effect have they had on the USA as we know it today?

What are the advantages of moving to another country to study or find work?

To what extent does travelling to a foreign country broaden our horizons?

What impact does globalisation have on international exchanges?

Why do refugees choose to leave their countries? What difficulties do they face?

In what way does travelling broaden the mind?

What difficulties do immigrants face when they arrive in a new country?

 

Idea of Progress

To what extent does new technology isolate people?

Are social networking sites a threat to our private lives?

How has the internet modified our social behaviour and changed the way we communicate?

To what extent does progress change our vision of the others and of the world?

To what extent has technological progress made an impact on our environment?

Working from home – is it the end of productivity or the future of work?

How does modern technology affect today’s society? Does it have a positive or a negative effect?

To what extent has social progress over the past century led to an improvement in women’s rights?

What sort of social progress was made in the 20th century? How did it come about?

In what ways has progress made modern-day life better?

How has the internet changed today’s world?

How did the Civil Rights movement bring about progress in the USA?

What major technological/scientific breakthroughs have been made in the last decades and how have they changed our lives?

Are peoples rights progressing or regressing?

 

Places and forms of power

In what way does sport have the power to unite people in a way that little else can?

« Whoever controls the media controls the mind (Jim Morrison) » – how much power do the media have over us?

When power is misused how do people rebel against it?

In what ways do the social networks have power to influence public opinion?

To what extent can we say that schools and universities are instruments of power?

How powerful is the NRA (National Rifle Association)? How has it consistently succeeded in defeating new gun control legislation in the USA?

How have civil rights activists used nonviolent protest to bring about change in the USA?

Money is power and rare are the heads that can withstand the possession of great power (Benjamin Disraeli) : how far is this quote true?

What are the limits to power? In what ways can power be abused?

To what extent can education be a key to power?

With social networks and internet is it possible to limit the power of the media?

How do people exercise their power? What are the different tools used?

Malala – the girl who was shot for going to school

MalalaQuote-540 malala-amnesty111_1412940157_1412940167_540x540 3f0e3917d2076f20039facf864c14936

After the emotion of the events last week in France this is perhaps a good topic to discuss in class:  Malala Yousafzai the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

Malala initially came to prominence when, as an 11-year-old, she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu, giving an account of how her school in Mingora town dealt with the Taliban’s 2009 edict to close girls’ schools. In October 2012 she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for « promoting secular education ». She recovered from the attack and was even more determined to continue her campaign which is now worldwide. In 2014 she became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  Her love for education, and her courage in standing up to the Taliban, made her an icon of bravery.

Here are a few articles and videos about Malala that can be used to illustrate several notions: myths and heros,  places and forms of power and also the idea of progress.

BBC website : Profile

Malala accepts the Nobel Peace Prize (video)

Ziauddin Yousafzai talking about his daughter and his fight to defend equal opportunities for education (video)

Article and video « Documenting a Pakistani girl’s transformation »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02dz23b