Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Education: Raising children & overcoming patriarchal ideology

Ngozi has a new essay out. If you are interested, here is an 8 minute radio program (with transcript, in case you decided to take parts of it down as a dictarion)

How Do You Raise A Feminist Daughter? Chimamanda Adichie Has 15 Suggestions

Collage. Reblogging 2 pages

Dear all, I’ve sent these blog pages to the editors of Collage 25 years, the multimedia magazine our School will publish at the end of this year to celebrate our 25 anniversary. This is the contribution called “Women Writers” and your page here dedicated to Ngozi is included. If you learn or read poems by women writers, we can include that too, later on.

Updates on the Ngozi Page above

I just included Cristina B’s review, and activated the “post comment” tool because it was impossible for you all to post anything there! Thanks, Cristina, for letting me know.

Now you can post away there, if you like. I’ll double-check your English. Cristina, I think I changed two words! Sorry! ūüėÄ If you don’t agree, change it back! ūüėÄ ‚̧

I’d like to ask if anyone coming to class can take a picture of the posters we made and have in class, so we can include it here! My camera is far too heavy and as you know I’m resisting buying a mobile phone that just allows me to make and answer calls!

OPs: Learning to speak from Outlines

Germ√°n shared with us his work on the assignment: Oral Book Review, on the Ngozi essay we read in class. It was timed, to fit the speaking exam format called “monologue”. As you can see in the photo of what he wrote on the whiteboard, he had an outline to speak from, which is a very valuable exercise I hope all students do regularly this year, so they can feel more confident in June, and so they learn a relevant skill for everyday life — how to speak in public from an outline.

As you can see, he started out with factual information on the essay and the author. In his intro to the book, he assessed the kind of reading it was and its value, and moved on to sustain these ideas by sharing with us the anecdotes and ideas the author shared, his highlights. He also paid attention to the language he learned/learnt. What’s missing on the whiteboard is the final recommendation, which he actually did, anyway.

A final outline could have been:

Book Review

  • author, title: factual info
  • intro: feminist approach, entertaining, own experience
  • body: analysis – highlights sustaining intro:
  • anecdotes + misconceptions – show value of feminist analysis (bulleted points possible within this point)
  • language highlights
  • Final comment + Recommendation

I also add key words to outline points, to remind me of the particular ideas I want to mention, e.g. misconceptions (feminists hate…)


Germ√°n, remember to record your work, for your Speaking File, so you can review it later and remember/consolidate.

I hope this great example helps you all to undertake your work at home on monologues. Remember you can watch my video here on Speaking File, and Luc√≠a’s upcoming video!

A Poster for Chimamanda Ngozi (Oct 17)

In my posts below I tell you about this idea of us creating a poster to celebrate Ngozi’s existence on Oct 17, the day for celebrating Women Writers!

Select pics, quotes, whatever, write a minisaga, a poem, whatever inspired on her work! And let’s stick it all on a piece of cardboard I’ll bring.

As I’ll bring my videocamara in case someone allows me to videoshoot, if you would, prepare reading out a quote of hers or whatever, and we can also create a video to celebrate this day.

Here Iare the two posters I did on my own the year before last! I translated some of the poems into Spanish.

I hope this year we can do something together for this wonderful writer! Thanks! ‚̧

Diary for Mon Oct 10 – Reading an essay + Hmwk (oral book reviews)

(Links in bold; highlights in color) Today our lesson was very productive, also in terms of putting together a wonderful lesson for next Monday! (I’ll post about this latter /l√°tr/ point separately!)

Fighting absentism (I’m sorry, the spellchecker says “absenteeism” but I keep resisting!): today we had good news about Mario by Cristina, and he actually made it to class! Then I was able to talk to Sergio after class. Why am I mentioning all of this? It turns out they had no plan of dropping out, but I fight hard absentism, and try to prevent it, OK? ūüôā So when I think there might be a possibility there, I take action! Please, before ever dropping out, book a meeting with me, so we can talk. I could be of help, OK? ūüėÄ

I gave out another three minisagas (notice my use of “another” here. Can someone explain in class next day?). I’m really happy with your pieces, and hope you can share them over here. Remember I can post them for you if you want them to be anonymous.

Diagnosis B2 Reading Test. I read out the answers, and people told me their results. Remember that if you take the test at home and you check it, I can register your results. I’ll be putting up an Overview of the work you share on our bulletin board, so you can complete it in case I miss something. People’s results were quite good. You shouldn’t worry about the particular result. What counts is “pass” or “fail mark”, OK?

Three students told us they had prepared an OP! This is impressive and it fills me with hope!! Two will be on learning methodology and one on a how-to you’ll probably be happy to learn about.

DEAR CHIMAMANDA, WE’RE LISTENING! ‚̧ Teamwork: students read Ngozi’s essay “We Should All Be Feminists“: Dolores, Sergio, Marta N., Soluna, Cristina R., Mariajos√©, Luc√≠a, Sonia, Germ√°n, Luz, Mario, Laura, (we missed Karen, for she had to leave before her turn), and Romina. Here is a list of words you should all pronounce correctly, OK? Please, double check you know how to pronounce them and stress them!

  • inclUsion, pUshed
  • assUmption, hUsband, sUpport,
  • greatest childhood /gr√©itest ch√°ildhud/
  • liked the /laikt-the/
  • laugh /laaf/
  • bristling half-baked /beikT/
  • looked at /luk TAT/
  • likes it / laik SIT/
  • culture /ka…/, cultural
  • course /k√≥ors/
  • own room /oUn rum/
  • /patr√≥l/ (verb)
  • p√≥litics / politician / policies
  • necessary /n√©sesari/
  • Nigeria /naig√©ria/
  • Lagos /l√©igez/
  • caf√©s
  • metropolis / metr√≥polis/
  • money /m√Āni/
  • occupied /√≥kiupaid/ – the occupy movement (like 15M, Arab spring: 99% is associated to the occupy movement; asambleas to the 15M but they all relate to occupying squares to fight for meaningful democracies)
  • occur
  • knowledgeable
  • creative /kri√©itiv/
  • forgery
  • actually – /√°k-CHuali/
  • son /sAn/ = like “sun”
  • /iz/ ending: changes, marriages, priviledges, experiences, silences, uses,
  • /id/ ending: hated /heitId/
  • colleagues /kol√≠gz/

Useful language (please, write the ones you selec in context, I didn’t have the time! It can be your own examples, or from the essay. You can post yours on the page for UL above): to deliver (give) a talk, a big deal, how stereotypes limita dn shape our thinking, unsolicited advice, they don’t intend harm, put it simply, spots available (to park), a well-meaning person, At some point, the word is so heavy with baggage, I saw realization dawn on his face (cf. suddenly it dawned on me / Friends: suddenlty it hit me), a go-getter, What struck me, prescribe how we should be, pretence / pretend, be apologetic about, love = partnership or ownership, emasculate (cf. belittle), mindset (frame of mind), deprived of, tap another person’s power, evil omen, What’s the point of culture?, to close a conversation, to speak out, It would be a way to / of … Western (occidental), Anyway (to change topics, or go back to the topic).

I gave some tips on constructive approaches to gender issues, explaining a hard-to-find idea: the difference between Patriarchal Reason (Raz√≥n patriarcal) and Empathetic Rationality (what we strive for). I also suggested students to consider their identity and gender, how gender expectations in our society, by the people we love, condition the development of our identity — parting from the acknowledgement of the fact that we are all, culturally speaking, children of patriarchal ideology, and therefore justify the patriarchal gender-sex system in conscious and unconscious ways. So some ideas are related to intellectual dignity and also to the connection of learning languages and learning about ourselves and others.

HOMEWORK. An oral book review on this essay. 3, 4 mins. Include: factual info, what the book is about, your highlights or personal insight (on language, ideas, anecdotes; passages, quotes), a recommendation. Remember to introduce your exercise and signal the end of it, too.

I’ll post a radio book review so you can practice note-taking and add stuff to your listening log! ūüôā

Next Monday: Reading Aloud! & a Question for you all – Looking for Volunteers!

I’ve thought out a plan, to make sure you all know how you should be working on your Monologues at home and on your monthly Writing Assignment.

I’d like to ask you, dear Authors, can you volunteer to explain next Monday How to Work on your Mons (my video on the Speaking File page), and How to Work on your Writing Assignments (my video on the Writing File page)? Post your willingness, if so, and we can hold this conversation here through posting our comments, OK? Let’s organize it! Don’t be shy and volunteer! If we have more than 2 for each explanation, I can find other tasks for the following week, so it’d be all right! ‚̧

Next Monday we will read Ngozi’s book. Today we watched that same talk on TED.

Tomorrow I’ll post a follow-up listening and translation exercise in case you want to do it over the weekend. I’d like to know, if possible, how many of you are coming to class next Monday.

Sergio, if you’re reading this, can you send me an email? Thanks! ūüôā

Lourdes, Lorena, I forgot to give you your Student’s Card!!! (Asociaci√≥n Estudiantes)

We Should… on the C1 Materials blog (link)