Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More lessons about Women from Breaking News English

The Fourth World Conference on Women,
Beijing Stamp Combination, September 5, 1995
(I was there, working in the computer room!)

Here are ten older (and excellent) ESL lessons about women from Sean Banville's Breaking News English.

  1. 2008-12-08: Oprah Winfrey most powerful woman
  2. 2008-09-03: Clever mums boost kids’ maths skills
  3. 2008-09-18: Rwanda - world’s first women-led country
  4. 2008-07-05: Ingrid Betancourt back in France
  5. 2008-06-20: United Nations says rape is a war crime
  6. 2006-03-08: UN boss not doing enough for women - easier harder
  7. 2005-12-28: Japanese women to have more equality - easier harder
  8. 2005-07-13: English Church accepts women bishops - easier harder
  9. 2005-05-10: Women-only cars for Tokyo trains - easier harder
  10. 2005-05-17: Kuwaiti women get the vote - easier harder

Monday, March 30, 2009

VOANews: 5 Women in the Arts

Georgia O'Keefe, 1887-1986: Her Paintings Showed Her Love for the American Southwest
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: People can immediately identify the artist's paintings of huge, colorful flowers or bones in dream-like deserts. 22 September 2007

Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1840-1924: She Created Art Museum in Her Home
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She gathered one of the great collections of art treasures in America and gave them to the public to enjoy. 10 January 2009

Mae West, 1893-1980: The Wild Woman of Film and Stage
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Mae West starred in and wrote many plays and films. Her rich voice and sexy jokes made her an important figure in American popular culture. 22 November 2008

Martha Graham, 1894-1991: The Mother of Modern Dance
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She created almost 200 dances and made this form of dance popular. Her dance company continues to perform around the world. 02 August 2008

Ella Fitzgerald, 1917-1996: She Was America's First Lady of Song
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Fans around the world loved Ella Fitzgerald's joyful singing. Critics said she raised the American popular song to the level of art. 27 May 200

Sunday, March 29, 2009

VOANews: 5 Women Writers

Willa Cather, 1873-1947: She Celebrated Europeans Who Settled in the American Midwest
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Her best stories are about these pioneers. She developed a way of writing, both beautiful and simple, that made her a pioneer, too. 04 October 2008

Flannery O’Connor, 1925-1964: She Told Stories About People Living in Small Towns in the American South
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Many of her novels and stories presented ideas about religion. They showed the conflict between the world of the spirit and the world of the body. 05 July 2008

Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888: She Wrote Her First Book at the Age of 16
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: "Little Women" is still one of America's best loved children's books. Louisa May Alcott based the book on her own family. 31 May 2008

Gwendolyn Brooks, 1917-2000: The Poet Was the First African American to Win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Gwendolyn Brooks wrote hundreds of poems. She was known around the world for using poetry to increase understanding about black culture in America. 17 May 2008

Edith Wharton, 1862-1937: Wrote Novels of the Young and Innocent in a Dishonest World
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: "The Age of Innocence" deals with the lack of honesty that lies behind the apparent innocence of the New York social world.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

VOANews: 10 Women Activists

Nellie Bly, 1864-1922: Newspaper Reporter Used Unusual Methods to Investigate and Write About Illegal Activities in New York City
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: For one story, she became a patient in a mental hospital. For another, she pretended to be a mother willing to sell her baby. 25 August 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

*Just added* Kay Yow, Betty Jameson: They Changed the World of Sports for Women
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: They were great athletes in basketball and golf, and they started sports organizations for women. Today we tell about two women who helped change the world of sports: golfer Betty Jameson and basketball coach Kay Yow. 28 March 2009
MP3Download (MP3) . MP3Listen to (MP3) . Print Version

Bessie Coleman, 1892-1926: She Dared to Dream and Became the First African American Female Pilot
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She resisted society's restrictions against blacks and women. She believed that the air is the only place where everyone is free. 17 October 2008
MP3 - Download (MP3) . MP3 - Listen to (MP3)

Shirley Chisholm, 1924-2005: The First Black Woman Elected to the U.S. Congress
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She was an activist who worked to improve the lives of others. She was also the first woman and the first black person to run for president of the U.S. 01 March 2008
MP3 - Download (MP3) . MP3 - Listen to (MP3)

Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910: The Anti-Slavery Activist Wrote One of the Great Civil War Songs On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: The "Battle Hymn of the Republic" caught the spirit of The Union soldiers of the North. 12 January 2008
MP3 - Download (MP3) . MP3 -Listen to (MP3)

Wilma Rudolph, 1940-1994: 'The Fastest Woman in the World'
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She was the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics. She also was a strong supporter of the American civil rights movement. 20 October 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

Mary Lyon, 1797-1849: A Leader in Women's Education in the Nineteenth Century
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Mary Lyon opened Mount Holyoke Seminary for Women in 1837. It was the first independent school for the higher education of women. 02 June 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

Bella Abzug, 1920-1998: Activist for Women’s Rights Was Known for Her Large Hats and Strong Opinions
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Abzug represented New York City in Congress during the 1970's. She was an activist against American involvement in the war in Vietnam. 27 April 2008
MP3 - Download (MP3) . MP3 - Listen to (MP3)

Margaret Sanger, 1883-1966: She Led the Fight for Birth Control for Women
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Sanger was considered a rebel in the early 1900s. She became an important part of what has been called one of the most life-changing political movements of the 20th century. 01 December 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

Dian Fossey, 1932-1985: She Worked to Protect the Mountain Gorillas of Central Africa
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Her book, "Gorillas in the Mist" brought attention to these endangered animals. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International continues her work. 17 November 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

Elizabeth Blackwell, 1821-1910: Against Strong Opposition, She Became the First Western Woman in Modern Times to Become a Doctor
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She also started a hospital for women and children and built a medical school to train women doctors. 21 July 2007
MP3 - Download Audio . Listen to MP3

Friday, March 27, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

a special online exhibit from Arago,
the Smithsonian Postal Museum--AMAZING!

VOANews: Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962: She Was the Most Influential Wife of Any American President
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: She became one of the most important people in America. She fought for equal rights for all people -- workers, women, poor people, black people. And she sought peace among nations. 20 September 2008

VOAVideo: First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual

ESL Discussions: United Nations

  • How has the United Nations changed the world?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Christiane Amanpour--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Famous People Lessons: Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour is one of the world’s most successful international news reporters.

ESL Discussions: News
Do you think news reporting in your country is fair and balanced? How about in other countries?

CNN Special: "Scream Bloody Murder"
CNN's Christiane Amanpour traveled to the world's killing fields to understand the world's indifference, even as courageous voices tried to "Scream Bloody Murder." A worldwide investigation and two-hour documentary on CNN. WARNING: VIOLENT IMAGES!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mother Teresa--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Famous People Lessons: Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. For over forty years, she looked after the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying.

ESL Discussions: Charity and Charities
  • Do you have a favourite charity?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Famous People Lessons: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 1938) became President of Liberia in 2005. She was Africa's first ever elected female head of state. She has the nickname “Iron Lady” because of her iron will and determination. She also actively campaigns for women’s rights.

Breaking News English: 2005-11-12: Africa gets first elected female president - easier harder

PBS Independent Lens: Iron Ladies of Liberia
After 14 years of a brutal civil war, Liberia elects its first female president—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, nicknamed the Iron Lady.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

VOAVideo: Two Videos from Kenya

VOAVideo: Kenyan Advocate Advances Education for Girls
Educating girls and women in Kenya's pastoralist communities can be a big challenge. Many girls end up being married in their early teens and are expected to stay at home and work for the family. But a pastoral human rights activist is striving to change that mentality by setting up learning centers for girls and women in the Tana River area of north coastal Kenya. Cathy Majtenyi caught up with Ibrahim Ahmed Sane and shows how he is Making a Difference in eastern Kenya.

Kenya Abortion Bill Debated
A bill now before Kenya's parliament would legalize abortion, making Kenya the first East African country to do so. The issue of abortion is highly emotional in Kenya. Womens groups argue that the Reproductive Health and Rights Bill will protect women from death and injury due to backstreet abortions, while critics say abortion violates African traditions and culture and is being pressed by Western interests.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rosa Parks--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

VOANews: Rosa Parks, 1913-2005: Mother of the American Civil Rights Movement
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Rosa Parks was a black woman who refused to give her seat on a bus in Alabama to a white passenger. Her act of bravery launched the movement to end unequal treatment of African-Americans.

Breaking News English: 2005-10-26: Civil rights icon Rosa Parks dies - easier harder

Thursday, March 19, 2009

VOAVideo: Photographer Chronicles Muslim World

National Geographic Magazine photographer Alexandra Avakian has spent nearly two decades chronicling the Muslim world for western publications. Now the award-winning photojournalist has put her best work into a new book: "Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World." VOA's Julie Taboh spoke with this veteran journalist about her experience and her new book.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Máiread Corrigan and Betty Williams--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Máiread Corrigan (Máiread Corrigan-Maguire) and Betty Williams co-founded the Community of Peace People, an organization which attempts to encourage a peaceful resolution of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The two women were co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.

VOANews: American Women Draw Attention to Role of Women in Peace Efforts - 2003-03-07
These peace efforts have come not only before wars and national conflicts, but have continued afterwards.

Monday, March 16, 2009

VOAVideo: First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual

VOAVideo: First Lady's Role Shaped by Tradition and the Individual

On January 20, when Barack Obama becomes the 44th president of the United States, his wife, Michelle Obama, will become First Lady. It's not an elected office, but the First Lady can play a significant role in the president's administration as VOA's Susan Logue reports.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Angela Merkel--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Famous People Lessons: Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel became Germany’s first female Chancellor and the first from communist East Germany in 2005.

VOANews: Germany Awaits a New Leader, and a New Day (10/15/2005) Angela Merkel is to replace Gerhard Schroeder in a coalition that will give economically troubled Germany its first woman chancellor.

VOANews: More Women Become National Leaders; When Will the U.S. Follow? (11/1/9/2005) On Tuesday, Angela Merkel is expected to become Germany's first female chancellor. And Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia has declared victory as Africa's first elected woman president.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

VOAVideo: Some Iranian Women Call for More Equality and Freedom

Iran's Islamic revolution was all about bringing change - toppling a repressive monarchy, rolling back western influence and, many hoped, ushering in a freer and better life for its citizens. While change certainly came, it had different consequences from what many had hoped -- especially for women. Now 30 years later, many Iranian women abroad and at home are calling for more equality and personal freedom -- as VOA's Mandy Clark reports from Dubai.

ESL Discussions: Iran
What things about Iran do you think Iranian people are proud of?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

VOAVideo: Arab Women in Gulf Gain Some Rights

VOAVideo: Arab Women in Gulf Gain Some Rights
Arab women in the Gulf States have made small but notable gains in the past five years, according to a new Freedom House study of women's rights in the region. The nongovernmental organization conducts studies and creates programs to promote freedom and democracy around the world. The report, "Gaining Ground: Women's Rights in the Arab Gulf," updates an earlier one, released in 2005. At a recent conference in Washington, DC, VOA's Julie Taboh spoke with Sanja Kelly, who directed the study, and to women who contributed to the report.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Daw Ang San Suu Kyi was released Nov. 2010

Famous People Lessons: Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has been a figurehead for her country’s struggle for democracy since 1988.

VOANews: Aung San Suu Kyi Notes Parallels Between Middle East and Burma

Nobel Laureate and pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi says the people of Burma are closely following events in the Middle East.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VOAVideo: President Obama Signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law on January 29, 2009. It ultimately will provide greater equal pay for workers by making it easier for them to sue employers for unfair pay practices. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and First Lady Michelle Obama were there to mark the occasion. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the legislation was inspired by a 70-year-old Southern woman, Lilly Ledbetter.

Wikipedia: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Thank you, Lilly!

Monday, March 9, 2009

KQED: Women's History Month

On KQED TV: Pure Magic: The Mother-Daughter Bond
profiles Katherine Cheng—who came to the United States from
China as a young university student—and her four adult daughters.

KQED proudly celebrates the richness and diversity of the greater San Francisco Bay Area by commemorating Women's History Month. In March, KQED Public TV 9 and Public Radio 88.5 FM schedule a special lineup of programs focused on themes and issues related to women.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day 2009

UNHCR video for International Women's Day 2009:
Men and Women United for Gender Equality.

Equality is a Journey.

The Journey Begins...

With Me

With You

With Us.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Susan B. Anthony--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. It depicts women's suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony. The reverse depicts an eagle flying above the moon (with the Earth in the background), a design adapted from the Apollo 11 mission insignia that was also present on the previously issued Eisenhower dollar (Source: Wikipedia: SBA).

77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

  • fought for women’s rights
  • fought for civil rights

Susan B. Anthony was born in Massachusetts on February 15, 1820. She is known for campaigning for the right of women to vote. She spoke out publicly against slavery and for equal treatment of women in the workplace.

On March 8, 1884, Anthony testified before Congress supporting women's suffrage (right to vote). She urged senators to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, she said, "shall prohibit the disenfranchisement of citizens of the United States on account of sex..."

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony died 14 years before the adoption of the 19th Amendment, but it was still widely known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.

In 1979, she became the first woman whose image appeared on a circulating U.S. coin. The coin is called the Susan B. Anthony dollar and is worth one dollar. (source: USCIS M-638)

See also:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sacagawea--ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

EL Civics: Sacajawea

ESL Podcast: English Café 178
Famous Americans: Sacagawea (also: NASCAR racing; to take its toll (on someone))

The Missouri River travels four thousand kilometers. It flows along the borders of seven states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and, finally, Missouri.

Wikipedia: Sacagawea Dollar

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wangari Maathai: ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

Wangari Maathai, enviromentalist

Famous People Lessons: Wangari Maathai

flesl.net: ESL Reading: environment, deforestation, corruption, Kenya
Wangari Maathai was born in Kenya in 1940, in the town of Nyeri about 100 kilometers north of the capital city, Nairobi.

VOANews: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai - 2004-10-15
Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai says poor women can fight poverty and help the environment by planting trees. In December, she will receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to save the forests of Africa.

PBS Independent Lens: TAKING ROOT: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

Under Wangaari Maathai's leadership, tree-planting in Kenya has grown into a nationwide movement. (**Note: this is for advanced ESL students)

ESL Discussions: Kenya What things about Kenya do you think Kenyan people are proud of?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rachel Carson: ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

This year, the NWHP honors women who are leaders in the "green" movement. The NWHP is honoring Rachel Carson, the founder of the modern environmental movement, as the model of the theme: Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet.

VOANews: Rachel Carson, 1907-1964: Her Books Helped Launch the Environmental Protection Movement in the US
On PEOPLE IN AMERICA: Carson's book "Silent Spring" influenced the US government’s decision to ban the pesticide DDT.

Famous People English Lessons: Rachel Carson (1907–1964) was a pioneer of the global environmental movement through her writing about conservation. Her 1962 book ‘Silent Spring’ made her famous.

ESL Discussions: Environment What would you do to save our environment?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

ESL Lessons for Women's History Month

The National Women's History Project (NWHP) teaches people about the important activites of women. NWHP sponsors Women's History Month. This year's theme is Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet .

MilpitasChat.blogspot.com is hosting a new series: ESL Lessons for Women's History Month. ESL lessons about women from our favorie sites will be posted daily. Here are some examples of lessons from some of out favorites ESL sites: