Wednesday, 18 November 2009

African Literature Week in Oslo

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from our fabulous school librarian Ingrid. She told me about the upcoming African Literature Week here in Oslo. I was so excited to hear that Nigerian authoress Chimamanda N. Adichie would be visiting and I am really looking forward to hearing her talk tomorrow evening. Right now I am reading her latest book, The Thing Around Your Neck. It is a collection of stories, some from Nigeria and others about life for Nigerian immigrants in the USA. I am really enjoying the read and I have already found two or three stories that I think would be suitable for my English class. In fact, I hope to have a lesson with my class about Adichie and her country in the near future. I occasionally catch myself thinking and talking about Africa as if it was one country and this is a bad habit that I am trying to lose. Before I discovered this great authoress I did not even know that Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa (embarrassing). Now I am eager to learn more about this complex country and I hope Adichie's stories will have the same effect on at least some of my students. The image is of an Igbo (one of many peoples in Nigeria) mask and taken from flickr: "Mask"

Monday, 2 November 2009

An invitation for President Obama

Shortly after Obama announced that he himself would come to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, some of the teachers at Sandvika upper secondary decided to invite Obama to our school. It may be a shot in the dark, but we have too keep dreaming. Here you can read the invitation from our principal and the encouraging answer from the American Embassy in Oslo: Invitation to visit Sandvika High School in Norway Attached to the invitation was an etherpad document where our students have posted suggestions about how the President can spend the prize money. Photo from flickr: A vision for America

Politics in the USA

One of the competence aims in our curriculum plan is that our students in the first year of upper secondary are supposed to learn how to "discuss social conditions and values in various cultures in English-speaking countries". When we study the USA and American values we try to include at least the basics of American politics. This topic is in itself fairly complicated, obviously, but I think the text "Thirteen questions about American politics" (from the website presents the key facts and principles in a very student-friendly way (question 10 is outdated and left out in a later version, but apart from that the text is good). On this page you can listen to the text, do exercises and read a shorter version: Twelve questions about politics. Photo from flickr: