I Speak English

"Practice Makes Perfect"

16 September, 2011

I introduce myself

Filed under: I introduce myself — csa1 @ 23:33

How are you? (synonyms) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juKd26qkNAw


You start a new school year

The teacher will probably ask you to introduce yourself:

My name is …

I’m sixteen …

I live in …

My home phone number is …

I’ve got … brothers and … sisters/ I’m an only child

My father is  a…/an engineer; he works in …

He drives me to school every day

and tells me about his own experience.

He is very strict with me and teaches me to respect myself

and respect others.

He wants me to have ambition and good school results.


My mother is a nurse…/… unemployed but she does plenty of housework

She is a super mum: she cooks delicious dishes,

I love her tasty cooking, particularly her brownies.

I ‘m crazy about music, especially reggae  and gospel music.

I play the guitar and I try to practise every day.

I love bèlè rhythms too because they are part of our tradition.

I enjoy drawing and painting every now and then.

I belong to a basket-ball club called the “Lucky Fellows” and we have won our last three matches.

I do not like school, I find it a little boring.

I would have preferred more cultural activities such as making a film, a music hall or a play

we would perform at the end of the school year.

  I’m crazy about films : I go to the cinema with my mates

every fortnight at Madiana.

The last movie I saw was “Case Départ”,

it’s about a serious issue : slavery, but the film-maker

presented it in a very humorous way;

which has never been seen before, since some people think

you shouldn’t laugh   with such an important topic.

I’m fond of reading too

and right now, I’m reading a book about

Sept.11th written by a historian,

Nicole Bacharan entitled :

September 11th, the Day of Chaos.

She is a specialist of  U.S. politics

and she wrote that book with a journalist, writer and  chief editor

called Dominique Simmonet.

They give a detailed account of the tragic events

that almost shattered the very heart of the power.

At school, my favourite subject is English/Spanish… because …

I dislike  Mathematics/Literature … because …

I have/don’t have lunch at the school canteen/ at home.

In the morning,…

I usually go to school by car/I sometimes walk to school when…

In the evening, …

I go home by bus…/ I walk home…

My best friend is …/ He …/him / She …/her…/ We … together… Our … Us …Each other …

  I’ve got a pet. It’s a dog/puppy/cat/kitten/tortoise/rabbit/horse/mare …

I don’t have a pet / I haven’t got a pet.

I fancy travelling/ I’ve been to St-Lucia / Dominica / Trinidad and Tobago …

But I’ve never been to Australia /…

I’m sure you can find plenty of other topics to deal with



2 October, 2017

LELE : The writer in his time

Filed under: Themes in Lele — csa1 @ 10:03

L’élève doit constituer deux dossiers traitant de deux thématiques choisies parmi les 6 proposées par le programme.

Chaque dossier doit comporter deux documents travaillés en classe et un document personnel choisi par l’élève. Le document personnel doit illustrer la problématique énoncée.

L’élève présente son dossier pendant 5 mn.

Il obtient une note sur 20 composée de 4 éléments : 5 pts pour la présentation du dossier et de la thématique, 5 pts pour la finesse d’analyse des documents utilisés, 5 pts pour la culture littéraire dont l’élève aura fait preuve, 5 pts pour la qualité globale de l’anglais.



  1. Le Je de l’écrivain et le Jeu de l’écriture – THE VOICE OF THE WRITER PLAYING WITH WORDS
  2. La rencontre avec l’autre, l’amour, l’amitié – MEETING PEOPLE, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
  3. Le personnage, ses figures et ses avatars – CHARACTERS – FROM EVOLUTION TO  METAMORPHOSIS
  4. L’écrivain dans son siècle – THE WRITER IN HIS OR HER TIME
  5. Voyage, parcours initiatique, exil – TRAVELLING, INITIATORY JOURNEY, EXILE
  6. L’imaginaire – IMAGINATION AT WORK




Central Question :

Is it easy for a writer to use his art to criticize the government of his country and the society of his time? Closed-ended question.

To what extent can a writer criticize the government of his country and the society of his time in his works? Open-ended question.

From the Renaissance to the Elizabethan age (16th century): Shakespeare (Macbeth)

The importance of politics to Shakespeare is evident simply in his choice of subjects for his plays. His ten history plays concentrate on political matters. Dealing as they do with a variety of English kings, they raise a whole series of political issues—war vs. peace, the role of religion in politics, legitimate vs. illegitimate princes—ultimately centering on the questions: what does it take to be a good king and where do the majority of kings go wrong?

Of Shakespeare’s ten tragedies, four are set in ancient Rome, and take up equally political themes, including the difference between a republic and a monarchy. HamletKing Lear, and Macbeth continue Shakespeare’s exploration of the nature of monarchy and such issues as legitimate succession and the threat of usurpation and tyranny. Othello, set partly in Venice, shows Shakespeare’s interest in a modern republic and how its political principles differ from a monarchy’s.

Even as it moves beyond tragedy, The Tempest nevertheless recapitulates political themes from some of Shakespeare’s most tragic plays, including the fratricidal strife in Hamlet, the betrayal and deposition of a ruler in King Lear, and the usurping tyrant in Macbeth.

Shakespeare as trapped within the ideological horizons of his own time period. From this perspective, Shakespeare is concerned only with issues that preoccupied his contemporaries. He was forced to operate within political categories that he absorbed from his immediate intellectual environment, beyond which he could not possibly have seen.

One of the most impressive aspects of Shakespeare’s plays is the way they range all over time and space, from an ancient Roman republic inCoriolanus to a modern republic in The Merchant of Venice and Othello, with all sorts of monarchies in between. Shakespeare seems to have been interested precisely in the variety of regimes under which human beings have lived. Given his experience as an Englishman, he of course devotes a good deal of effort to understanding monarchy as a distinct form of government.

Shakespeare seems to have understood the concept of the regime (Greek: politeia) as developed by Plato and Aristotle—the idea that different forms of political organization encourage different forms of human development. Not every human possibility is equally available under every regime; it is difficult to be a Christian saint in pagan Rome (and as Hamlet shows, it is equally difficult to be a classical hero in Christian Europe). A monarchy will inevitably discourage certain forms of political activity (particularly those that challenge monarchy), while a republic may cause the very same activities to flourish. Shakespeare is generally praised for the immense variety of human types he portrays in his plays. Perhaps one of the keys to this success is the variety of regimes Shakespeare covers in his plays—from ancient pagan republics to modern Christian monarchies. When Horatio tells Hamlet: “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,” he is saying something about the variety of regimes and their connection to human diversity.

The 18th century : Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels, great satire of England in the first half of the 18th century) – We ‘ll also study Swift’s brilliant pamphlets  such as  A Tale of a Tub or A Modest Proposal

Pamphlets have also long been an important tool of political protest and political campaigning for similar reasons.

pamphleteer is a historical term for someone who produces or distributes pamphlets, especially for a political cause.

Pamphlets are very important in marketing because they are cheap to produce and can be distributed easily to customers.

Shakespeare works were censored

As early as 1559–five years before Shakespeare was born–Elizabeth proclaimed that no play should be performed that dealt with “either matters of religion or of the governance of the estate of the common weal.” Thus censorship was concerned with profanity, heresy, and politics.

Shakespeare’s plays have been censored ever since they were first performed. Some, particularly the history plays, were censored in his own time because they were considered unwise, or even treasonous, in the contemporary political climate. In the 19th century, Shakespeare plays were also often censored, though for their occasionally racy and ‘indecent’ matter rather than their political content.

One of the most striking examples of censorship in his plays was the forced omission from the first edition of Richard II of the whole scene of the deposition of Richard –it made rebellion seem too respectable.

1) by Thomas Bowlder

Most famously the English physician and philanthropist Thomas Bowdler produced a sanitised edition of 20 of the plays in 1807, called The Family Shakespeare. 
Thomas Bowdler published an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare’s work with his sister Henrietta that he considered to be more appropriate for women and children than the original. In The Family Shakespeare, Bowdler and his sister cut out all things explicitly sexual and much that was ambiguously so.

Hence the eponym bowdlerize, his name is now associated with prudish censorship of literature, movies, and television.

2) Macbeth was banned in England by King James for 5 years because he objected to the appearance of, and the incantation spoken by, the three witches. Common issues today include sex, violence, obscene language, and witchcraft.

3) The play, The Book of Sir Thomas More, believed to be written between 1596 and 1601,was never performed in Shakespeare’s lifetime because the Queen’s censor, Edmund Tilney, thought it might incite riots during a time when England was once again besieged by another immigrant crisis with the arrival of French-speaking Protestant asylum seekers from France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

https://qz.com/786163/the-banned-400-year-old-shakespearean-speech-being-used-for-refugee-rights-today/YouTube Preview Image[/youtube]

“Thomas More’s speech to the mob is as relevant as ever,” said US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power in a Sept. 16 speech at the Lincoln Center Global Exchange to champion refugees. “The ‘wretched strangers’ have changed of course, from the Lombards targeted in 1517 in those riots to the Huguenot refugees in Shakespeare’s time and to the Syrians, Iraqis, South Sudanese, Eritreans and others fleeing repressive governments of our time,” explained Powers. She recruited Shakespearean actor Jay O. Sanders to perform the monologue in the middle of her speech.

This work has never been completed by Shakespeare and his handwritten manuscript is on display at London’s British Library.


The text begins with More’s response to the mob.

The Book of Sir Thomas More, Act 2, Scene 4

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;

What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another….
Say now the king
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whither would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,

But chartered unto them, what would you think

To be thus used? this is the strangers case;

And this your mountainish inhumanity.


Training for the oral exam

I am going to deal with the theme « The Writer in His Time ». Some writers don’t hesitate to criticize their own society through their work by expressing their way of thinking under the form of a ‘parody’ or simple critic. But many books also reveal their century, firstly through the language and lexis used, and also by the story itself.

To what extent can a writer criticize the government of his country and  reveal a society through his work ?

We will answer the issue with the help of three documents :

On the one hand, we have studied in class two extracts : one  from Macbeth by Shakespeare , the other one from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
On the other hand, I have chosen  a document dealing with … ; it is an extract from … It deals with
To conclude, …


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