3.en.94 Media: headlines photos and captions. “Taliban kill head of Afghan girl’s school”

This last term, we are following current news  and reading newspaper articles. We have already worked on a piece of news taken from the digital edition of El País in English. and you  are currently working on headlines of your choice, taken from the same source.

Today, I have chosen a news story from The Guardian. I did so, in order to analyse the headline, the photo and its caption. My choice was also guided because this year, we went to several talks  at La Caixa where you learnt  about what to live in Afghanistan is like. I’m sure that now, when you read a piece of news about this country, you  surely remember Monica Bernabe and Ramon Lobo’s experiences and Skateistan skate park initiative, don’t you? We devoted several posts in this blog to them.  

Well, unfortunately gloomy news keep on making the headlines. Look at this one from the Guardian. You can read the same story covered by El País. By clicking on the links, you can read the whole story. 

  • What’s characteristic of headlines?
  • Which part of the sentence is omitted , if any?
  • does the sentence follow grammar conventions?
  • Is the headline catchy?
  • Where does the piece of news come from? an agency? a correspondant?
  • who signs the piece of news?
  • Does the headline anticiparte all the information you’ll find in the article?
  • Do the headline and caption answer most “WH” questions?
  • What about the photograph chosen?
  • who is the protagonist of the story?
  • Can you think of other photos other than the one chosen that would have changed our perception of the news story: The teacher killed, talibans holding guns, a classroom…?

What would have happened if you had looked up the word “head” in a dictionary and had read only the first meaning of the word?

How many different meanings do yo have to look at until you actually find one that fits ?

Look at  dictionary reference.com. We need to scroll down until we get to (5)

 Now, let’s analyse further information

Which section of the newspaper is the news from?

  • What is Reuters?
  • See what happens if you click on “Article history”
  • What kind of information appears in the new box? 
  • Is it a helpful tool? Why?
  • You have to print the whole article and bring it to class, as you did with the one about Lorca’s earthquake. We’ll analyse together. 
  • Digital editions usually give you the option of a printable version of the article. Click here to access the printable one
Now, compare the headlines in the Guadian with the headline from   El País coverage of the same piece of news. 

2.en.49 Mònica Bernabé’s talk on Afghanistan: do we live in a bubble?

This morning we went to Mònica Bernabé’s talk at Caixa Forum. We have been there several times: to talks, concerts and exhibitions. Today, 2nd year Batx students joined us and despite age difference both groups seemed to have enjoyed the talk.

Now, in class we’ll try to investigate and learn more about the things we heard. Some of the words she used you might have heard them many times before; words such as “WAR” ,“DEATH” “FREEDOM”. But you might also have heard new ones such as war criminals, cold war, talibans, mujahideens, burka, human rights, civilians, casualties, coallition forces, lords of the war,UN economic index.

However, after her talk, I hope that these words have stopped being just words for you.  Despite living in a very different reality, you should know that there are people and stories behind them,  They are not just a list of meaningless concepts to be learnt by heart . If I were a journalist and I was asked to choose a quote from Mònica’s talk, I guess I would choose “We live in a bubble and  things we take for granted are not so in Afghanistan”

Homework: Tomorrow, Friday 4th, I would like to see your comments on Mònica’s talk in the blog. Summarise the main contents and explain the parts you liked best. She spoke in Catalan and part of the videos she showed us were  in English or in Spanish, so it is up to you, you can post your  comments in the language you prefer: Catalan, Spanish or English.

The data about Afghanistan I asked you to look for (size, population,economy, religion, languages, life expectancy,demography, political system) you have to post them in English.

I found in You Tube the animation video that Mònica’s organization, (ASDHA) The Association for Human Rights in Afghanistan, made as part of the campaign to remove war criminals from Afghan parliament.  Watch it again. I have uploaded the English version, but if you go to the site, you can also watch it in Catalan and in Spanish. It is a good summary of the last 30 years of the country history and war conflict.

2.en.48 From Stockholm to Kabul “Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul”

We set of this term visiting a green city, Stockholm, and moved on to finding a bit more about Sweden, its citizens and their way of life. All of you have discovered interesting facts such as Swedes’ environmental awareness.

It’s about time to talk about wealth and economy. According to the GDP (nominal) per capita ranking elaborated by the International Monetary Fund, in 2010, Sweden was situated among the top ten countries of the world, which means it is among the richest.

In case you look for Spain, its position is 25. See this link

In terms of wars, it is worth mentioning that Sweden has not been combatant in any war since 1814, close to 200 years.

Today,  we’ll go to la Caixa, to listen to a talk about Afghanistan. It will be our third talk this year, part of the series that aimed at broadening your perception of the world. Thanks to Chema Caballero, we learnt about child soldiers in Sierra Leone. In October, Ramón Lobo explained to us how difficult daily life is in conflict areas. Today, the last talk of Trobades amb compromis will be given by Mònica Bernabé and it is called “Afganistan, més enllà dels talibans”

So, from Sweden, we shall move to a totally different reality and find out more about a Afghanistan, a country that has been devastated by wars and conflicts for more than 30 years. In terms of wealth and economy it ranks at the other end of the list.

Sweden also ranks among the top countries in terms of gender equality while in Afghanistan most women lead an invisible life covered by burkas and deprived of most elementary human rights.

You will have the chance to talk to a woman journalist, Monica Bernabé,  that has experience what daily life in Afghanistan is like. I hope that you will also realise that, against all odds, something can always be done, even in the worst situations.

I would like you to have a look at this inspiring video. Let me know what you think of it. Do you think skateboarding can contribute to changing patterns of behaviour?

Now, 20 questions about the film that will make you reflect on what an initiative such as skateistan is perceived by the kids in Kabul.

  1. How old is Murza?
  2. Was he born in Kabul?
  3. What does he say about his village Charekar?
  4. Why isn’t he too scared of violence?
  5. Does  he think violence will end in the near future?
  6. Where did he use to work?
  7. Where does he work now?
  8. What are his tasks in the skate park?
  9. How does Murza describe his relationship with skating?
  10. What does Sharna Nolan do  in Skateistan?
  11. What is the main objective of Skateistan?
  12. How old is Fazilla?
  13. Where does she work?
  14. What can you see in the background when kids are skating on a rooftop?
  15. What does Fazilla’s father think of her hobby?
  16. How does Murza describe his experience during Taliban period?
  17. What do the streets and the buildings of Kabul look like?
  18. What does Murza say the people of Afghanistan must do?
  19. How does he see the future?
  20. Did you like the film?

Homework: Friday 4th February. Post your answers and comments to the blog.