The tenth module on this blog and the topic for this term, chosen by the participants of “English for Activists”, is “Values”. The first lesson looks at personal values and gets people thinking about what they really believe in, before looking at a series of moral dilemmas. The second lesson deals with social attitudes and ideology. After analysing changes in British social attitudes in the last fifty years (e.g. the dramatic drop in interest in politics), we examine the underlying values shown in films and literature. The final part of the lesson is about neoliberal ideology and how its discourse has infiltrated the language used by the mass media. The third lesson is about the consumer society and has an article about how it has developed over the last 150 years. There is a video about ‘editing your life’ and reducing the number of your possessions and then we look at ethical consumption. The next lesson is about advertising: the messages it gives and the values it puts across. There is also a section about ‘anti-advertising’ with examples of work by groups like ‘Adbusters’ and the ‘Billboard Liberation Front’. The final lesson in the module analyses cultural values around the world before dealing with the topic of communication and culture in English. We finish off by highlighting cultural differences between the British and the Americans, two countries ‘divided by the same language’.
In this lesson we look at the history of colonialism in Africa: how and why it took place, the different styles of administration of the major European powers, its legacy and the long-term effects on the continent. A talk will be prepared to go with this lesson which will be uploaded to this site in a few weeks time.
In this lesson we look at some of the big challenges facing Africa in the 21st century: AIDs and Ebola, deforestation and soil degradation, the oppression of women, illicit financial flows, population explosion, neo-colonialism, corruption, ethnic conflict and civil war, unfair trade. After looking at three cartoons by Polyp, we discuss the problems and their possible solutions. We finish off with a research activity about conflict and civil war in the continent.
This term we will be looking at the topic of Africa which was chosen by the participants of English for Activists at the end of the summer term. Our aim will be to learn about the continent and its peoples, to identify the challenges it faces in the 21st century, to study the history of European colonialism and understand its long-lasting effects and finally to find out about and enjoy African culture and music. Contributions are always welcome if anybody wants to add anything.
Here is the first, introductory, lesson of the module: