Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Women's Day 2013 :Compare Two videos

Most of you know what a commercial, or advertisement is. But how much do you know about Public Service Announcements?

Public Service Announcements look and sound like TV or radio ads, but they are different in one important way.  Instead of selling a product or a service, PSA's as they are referred to, try to sell an idea.  

The idea must be aimed at educating or changing public attitudes about a social issue or problem such as drinks drinking and driving, bullying, taking drugs etc.  

International Women's Day is a day that raises many issues about about issues and problems that affect women all over the world. Some of these include: gender equality, poverty, violence towards women,  child brides, access to education and many more. 

Although women have made major strides in the 100 years since International Women's Day first began, the following Public Service Announcement videos aim to educate people about the problems still facing millions of women around the world. 

Today is no longer International Women's Day, but  March is Women's History month in several countries including Australia and the United States.  The following two activities can create some good speaking, listening and even writing activities  in an ESL classroom, or for any second language student   

Listening Activities:

Which video is the most effective? 

Here are activities for two different Public Service Announcements released for International Women's Day. . 

Both of them contain pre-listening discussion questions, listening comprehension questions and  post listening speaking activities. 

Watch both of them and compare them. Which of the two is most effective? Why? 

Let me know what you think. I always appreciate comments Simply type them in he box below?

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Friday, March 8, 2013

New Song for International Women's Day 2013

Today is International Women's Day. 

All over the world women are participating in events to celebrate their achievements.   

and to discuss how much still needs to be done to win the battle for equality with men.  

In honour of International Women's Day,  UN Women, an organization associated with the United Nations released a song, called  "One Woman" to celebrate women from all over the world.

"We Are One Woman: Message of Unity

Recorded by more than 25 artists and musicians from around the world,  the song sends a message  of unity and solidarity to end violent crimes against women and girls. 

To the tranquil sitar playing of Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of famed sitar player Ravi Shankar, male and female artists sing the chorus: "We are one woman, your world is mine and we shall shine".

Focus: Reducing Violence Against Women

This year, International Women's day is focusing on  violence against women in a year where high profile cases like the shooting of teenager Malala Yousafzai  and  brutal gang rapes in India have gained world wide attention. 

The project was created by UN Women, an organization associated with the United Nations and founded in 2011 to empower women and to improve women's lives around the world. 

According  to the UN, 7 out of 10 women around the world are still victims of violence - a major human rights  violation.

For more information on  how the song was made and its artists go to  http://song.unwomen.org/

Background on International Women's Day

For more information, read a previo9us article I wrote on International Women's Day

The day, which originally began on February 28th, 1909 was  started as a campaign for better working conditions by women in New York. In those days, working conditions were so bad that many women got sick and died. The first official International Women's Day was held on February 28, 1909. No one knows for sure why the date changed to March 8, but this is the date when thousands of women started annual marches in New York’s streets.  continue this story here 


Tune in tomorrow for articles, videos and activities on women's issues and International Women's Day