ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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August 26th, 2008 by Dave · 6 Comments

In my global issues class this fall, I’m interested in doing a little bit on the US presidential election. One resource that I’m planning to use is Glassbooth, an interactive quiz that students can take to see which US presidential candidate best aligns with their values. It is easy to use, and features a lot of good issues-related vocabulary.

First, students are asked to rate 14 issues on their importance. You have 20 points to divvy up, giving more to the issues that matter to you. The 14 issues cover a decent range of topics, and include most of the mainstream political issues. The second part of the quiz asks students to say whether they agree or disagree (along a 5-point scale) with various positions on the issues. Depending on which issues you choose as important, you get different statements in the second section.

Because the questions vary, it might be worthwhile to have students take the quiz as homework and then discuss their questions in a group. I think this would be an engaging way to check that students understood the basic sides of a variety of issues. It could also build their interest as the election approaches, motivating them to follow the news (thus processing language) more closely.

via Larry Ferlazzo’s blog

Tags: blog · global issues activities · politics

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Khalid // Aug 27, 2008 at 12:16 am

    That rocks! Especially since they include Nader!!! Have you seen “An Unreasonable Man” yet? Watch it.

    They did have some…slanted? questions such as: “I support or oppose the idea that human pollution is a significant cause of global warming ” – that’s sort of like asking “Do you support or oppose the idea that if I punch you in the nose it will hurt.” I suppose that some people oppose reality, so given that perhaps it is a fair question?

  • 2 Dave // Aug 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I haven’t yet seen (nor even heard of) An Unreasonable Man, but I’ll check it out.

    I was quite surprised in my own Glassbooth experience to find that I matched with Obama (80%) more than Nader (78%). And I agree that some of the questions are kind of push-pollish.

  • 3 Khalid // Aug 28, 2008 at 1:47 am

    You know – one HUGE questions I have is where they determine the candidates position? For example, Obama said a lot of things about NAFTA a few months back, but at the same time he wrote the Canadian government a letter telling them not to worry about what he’s saying, it’s only election talk. So, do you fit with his election talk or do you fit with his actual positions?

  • 4 Dave // Aug 28, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Well, as I remember, in the Glassbooth results it linked to the articles or other resources that were used to determine the candidates’ positions on various issues.

    I’d have to go back through the process to check, though.

  • 5 Dave // Aug 28, 2008 at 5:12 am

    OK, I just checked it out, and they actually do a really nice job of referencing the candidates’ positions.

    When you get your results, click on the “find out why” link next to each issue. For each of the statements that you replied to, they provide a number of quotes, videos, articles and votes that indicate the candidate’s position. It’s actually pretty interesting.

  • 6 cgroyal // Sep 20, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I am in agreement with Obama 85%
    (hi, Khalid)

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