“So Hillary Clinton has secured the Democratic nomination for president and could well become the nation’s first female head of state. Given the fact that more than 50 countries have had a woman at the helm, is that really such a big deal? Yes, experts say.” S. Milligan, USNews
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer keyHillary Clinton embraced her place in history Tuesday. Photo- whotv.com
Excerpt: … Hillary Clinton’s Feat Is Still a Big Deal- By Susan Milligan, USNews
“For while countries around the world have preceded the U.S. in hitting the gender equality milestone, the arduous process of becoming the country’s president is conspicuous in world politics, demanding both a high public profile – often from having held lower-level office – and the personal approval of millions of voters in dozens of primary elections and an often politically brutal general contest.Hillary greets supporters Tuesday. Photo-japantimes
There is a path to the presidency – and it isn’t easy, especially for a woman, says Michele Swers, an American government professor at Georgetown University. It requires a great deal of preparation even before the pricey and exhausting task of actually campaigning for the post…Angela Merkel, named by Forbes as the world’s most powerful woman, became German chancellor in 2005 because the German Bundestag elected her to the post. By that standard, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., achieved a similar distinction in 2007.
Any sort of winner-take-all system, as opposed to a parliamentary system, is much harder to win, particularly for a woman who might not have the political connections a man has, says Judith Warner, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.”
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Predictions: Using a Pre-reading Organizer
Directions: Ask students to examine the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them examine the photos. Ask students to write a paragraph describing what they think this article will discuss. Students can use a Pre-reading organizer for assistance.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- Hillary Clinton’s feat is a big deal.
- Other countries have preceded the U.S. in hitting the gender equality.
- It is an arduous process of becoming the country’s president.
- Becoming the country’s president is conspicuous in world politics.
- It is a politically brutal contest.
- Campaigning requires a great deal of preparation.
- Women are vastly underrepresented.
- The pool of plausible female presidential candidates is small.
- The list makes room for monarchs – notably, Queen Elizabeth II of the UK.
- A woman might not have the political connections.
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms for fun. Students should find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
Today, 23___ are___leaders in their respective___, according to the Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership website. But the___makes room for monarchs – notably, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark – as ___as those who may have ___to the ___through parliamentary ___that put the___party’s leader in charge without direct ___by voters.
Word List: well, women, countries, winning, elections, top, list, risen, systems, position,
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
There is a path/pass to the presidency – and it isn’t easy, special/especially for a women/woman, says Michele Swers, an American government professors/professor at Georgetown University. It requires/requite a great deal of preparation/prepare even before the pricey/price and exhausting task/tusk of actually campaigning for the post.
III. Post Reading Activities
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following statements. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on the topics.
- “…you don’t wake up one day and decide you’re going to run for political office. Running for the highest office in the land generally requires previous political experience, and at almost every level [of elected office], women are vastly underrepresented., making the pool of plausible female presidential candidates even smaller.”
- Have each group compose a letter to Hillary Clinton either telling her their thoughts on her success. They night also include any questions for her.
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.