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Changing India

This week we continued our sequence about India..

  • On Monday we summed up the information we gathered from the webquest on India before our test We said that India is a republic, it is the second most populated country after China (more than one million inhabitants). The capital is New Delhi and Mumbai is the largest city and center of India's film and entertainment industry (the largest in the world!). There are also 15 regional languages but about 1500 dialects and languages spoken in India ! Thus Indian states are organized along linguistic lines and there are 28 states. We also said that English is the language used for diplomacy and that 14% of the population is Muslim and 80% Hindu. Finally we noticed that urban India is one of the most heavily industrialized areas in the world.

  • On Thursday, we separated the class into two groups : the first half with Theresa and the other half with our English teacher. With her, we carried on practising our speaking for our oral exam; wechose three documents about Australia and made a brief presentation.

  • On Friday, we started a new document, a text entitled "Changing India" which is an extract from an article by Anand Gorodharadas, an Indian who was born and grew up in the USA but decided to go back to India after his studies. He explains that when coming back to India he was surprised by the country because it was more modern than his parents had told him.

  • For monday we have to find the various changes towards modernity he mentions in his article and try to highlight the phrases he uses to speak about them and we have a a webquest to do for next Thursday on the change from Bombay to Mumbai.

... and a video to watch to help you understand what the author mentions in his article.

Here is the webquest on Mumbai you have to do for Thursday.

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Introduction to India

Last week, we continued to study India with 4 different texts. We were separated into 4 groups and had to introduce each document.

The first one was about Hinduism. We learnt that it is the oldest religion in the world. However, Hinduism is different from the others beliefs. It is a kind of "family of religions", with many philosophies. And there is no single founder of Hinduism. Hindus believe in a cyclical life and reincarnation. It depends on your "karma"; the different actions that you accomplish in your human life.

The second text was about Indian colonization. It began in 1600 with the arrival of the British East India Compagny, which was a trading compagny. They exploited resources of India, like cotton, silk, tea or spices. In 1857, native members of the British army revolted because the rifle catridges had been greased with pig and cow fat and it was unacceptable to them as they HIndus and Muslims. A brutal conflit erupted then between Muslims and Hindus and the British. In 1877 Queen Victoria became Empress of India.

The third document was about the independence of India. We learnt that a group of people, led by Gandhi, started a non-violent anti-British campaign. It created a division between Hindus, who were a majority, and Muslims, who were a minority. In 1947 the British left the country and India became independent but there was a lot of violence between Hindus and Muslims. Half a million people died.. This movement resulted in the creation of Pakistan and Bengladesh.

The last document was about modern India and its democracy. The government is modeled on the british Parliament : the president is elected for 5 years by Parliament members, and he chooses the Prime minister. India raised the political level by electing the 1st woman Prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1964 and then the first woman President, Pratibha Patil, in 2007.

Then on Thursday, we were separated into 2 groups, one whith our English teacher, and the other with Theresa, an american student. The groupe with Theresa studied an article written by Alexandra Petri in The Whashington Post. It was entitled "Is poetry dead ?". During an hour, we read the article and tried to find arguments for and against this idea. We have to find others arguments at home now, because we will have a debate just before our holidays.

Finally, on Friday, we went on the computers to make a quizz on the internet aboutIndia. We had half an hour to find information and try to answer 30 questions. For Monday, we have to learn the information we talked about in class about India because we will have a test.

Here are your friends' presentations' notes.

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Quick recap for your final exam

Here is a list of the documents we've studied so far over our first two sequences to help you prepare your sets of documents for your final exam...

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India on the move

This week we debated on which document was the most interesting document in the sequence on Australia and how this document related to the question of "spaces and exchanges".

We also started the new sequence "India on the move" by analyzing a picture took on an Indian beach. This beach is over-crowded with people frome both genders and from all ages. Women are wearing saris, that is traditional Indian clothes, and in the background we can see buildings and skyscrapers which may be part of a business district. The photograph depicts the contrast between tradition and modernity in India.

Here is the photograph we talked about.

Here is the photograph we talked about.

Here is the result of our brainstorming on India.

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Enriching your vocabulary ...

Here is a list of adjectives you can use to avoid repeating "good", "bad", "important" and "interesting" on your final oral exam.

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The Great Australian Silence - Final Task

Here is the grid for your final task; Good luck!

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Aboriginals and today's Australia

This week, we corrected the webquest on the "Freedom Ride" and the situation of Aboriginals today. First, we learned a lot of things about Charles Perkins. He was an Aboriginal activist and also a football player. He played for the famous Manchester United team, but one day, just after a game against Oxford, he decided to leave the UK to go to university in Australia and he was the first Indigenous Australian to graduate university and also to become head of a Commonwealth Government Department later on which enabled him to try and help Aboriginals to get a better access to education.

He was also a key member of the "Freedom Ride" which was organized by Sydney students in 1965 to expose the situation of Aboriginals in Australia and which became an important part of the movement for civil rights in Australia. Things started changing over this period and thanks to people like him, Aboriginals have better life conditions today, even if they are still very disadvantaged.

Today, the population of Indigenous people in Australia is very young ; more than 70% is under 25 years old, and the population keep growing. The most important problems Aboriginals have to face are alcohol, violence, a shorter life expectancy, a higher rate of infant mortality, worse housing condition, etc.

At last, we watched a speech delivered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2008 to "The Stolen Generation". In his speech, he apologises for all the horrible things that happened to Aboriginals and make promises for a better future.

Here is a link to the extract of the speech we watched in class.

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The Stolen Generation Children

This week, we've listened to the presentations everyone had prepared on the "Stolen Generation" children and made notes (cf links). These presentations helped us understand how traumatic their experiences were and how deeply these children were bound to be affected their whole life.

Then we had an oral understanding test on a video entitled "Kanyini interview", Kanyini being an Aboriginal singer, former "Stolen Generation" child, whose life and experience inspired Melany Hogan, film director.

For next week, we have to do a webquest on the "Freedom ride" and Aboriginals in today's Australia.

Here are your friends' notes on the presentations we listened to in class about Charles Kickett, Daniel Forrester, Jane Butters and Bill Simon.

Here is the webquest you have to do for next week.

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The Stolen Generation

This week we've only met on Thursday and Friday since our teacher was absent on Monday.

On Thursday, we spent half on hour with our assistant working on a poem and half an hour with our teacher correcting our tests on Australian history.

On Friday, we first discussed our analises of the Rabbit Proof Fence trailer and then read an article from the Time online entitled "the Stolen Generation".

As we won't be seeing each other until after the holidays with our mock exams, we have to go on a website to listen to Aboriginals' testimonies and choose one to introduce his experience as a child of "the Stolen Generation" to the class.

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"Away from home" (2)

This week, we've only met on Monday and Thursday as we went to Caen on Friday to get some information for our studies. On Monday, we commented on a painting of the first fleet which particularly emphasizes the invasion of the British and one might even say their rather violent intrusion since they are depicted planting their flag and cutting trees to install their setllement on the Australian coast. Then we finished studying the excerpt from Doris Pilkington's novel which is very revealing of how Aboriginal children were dispossessed of their culture and identity in the twentieth century. On Thursday, as usual, some of us went and worked with the assistant while the others prepared for the oral exam.

Since our teacher will be absent on next Monday, we have to watch and analyze the trailer of the film Rabbit Proof Fence which was adapted from Doris Pilkington's novel.

Here is the poster of the film...

Here is the poster of the film...

...and here is the trailer.

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