Saturday, March 6

Intermediate English - International Women's Day

The topic for this week's English activities for Intermediate English students is International Women's Day.

International Women's Day is on March 8. 2012 marks the 102nd anniversary of International Women's Day.

Pre-Task Activity

You are going to watch a video about International Women's Day.

Can you predict what the answers will be to the questions below? Discuss them with another student or a friend, and decide which answers you think are correct.

Question 1

What percentage of food in developing nations is produced by women?

a) 25-30%

b) 40-50%

c) 60-80%

Question 2

True or false? Women control $4 trillion dollars in worldwide assets

a) true

b) false

Question 3

In what percentage of households are women the breadwinners (main wage earners)?

a) 1 out of 2 households

b) 1 out of 3 households

c) 1 out of 4 households

Task 1

Now watch this video about International Women's Day 2010, to see how many answers you guessed correctly.

How many answers did you get right?

Did any of the answers surprise you?

Task 2

Not long ago, a UK-based newspaper called The Independent published a poll of 100 British women who, arguably, have done the most to shape the world we live in today.

Read these brief biographies of some of the women who were featured on the list.

Amy Johnson - Aviator

Amy Johnson CBE, was a pioneering English aviator. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, Johnson set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s. Johnson flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliary where she died during a ferry flight.

Anita Roddick - Entrepreneur

Dame Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner. She was best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism. The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries.

Emmeline Pankhurst - Suffragette

Emmeline Pankhurst was an English political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, which helped women win right to vote. In 1999, Time Magazine named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back".

Jackie Collins - Novelist

Jackie Collins is an English novelist, screenwriter, and former actress. She is the younger sister of actress Joan Collins. To date, she has written 27 novels, all of which have been on the New York Times bestsellers list and have sold over 400 million copies worldwide. Her books are written for an adult audience and have been banned in some countries for being too explicit.

Julie Andrews - Entertainer

Dame Julie Elizabeth Andrews is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People's Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honours. Andrews was a former British child actress and singer who rose to prominence starring in musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, and in musical films such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, the roles for which she is still best-known.

Kelly Holmes - Athlete

Dame Kelly Holmes, DBE is a retired British middle distance athlete. She specialised in the 800 metres and 1500 metres events and won a gold medal for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 metres distances.

Mary Quant - Fashion Designer

Mary Quant, OBE, FCSD is a British fashion designer and one of the many designers who took credit for inventing the miniskirt and hot pants. Born to Welsh parents, Quant went to Blackheath High School then studied illustration at Goldsmiths College before taking a career with a couture milliner. She is also famed for her work on pop art in fashion.

Queen Elizabeth II - Queen of England

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of the the United Kingdom and sixteen independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth. As well as acting as Head of the Commonwealth, she is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. As a constitutional monarch, she is politically neutral and by convention her role is largely ceremonial.

Task 3

Work with another student or a friend. Ask your partner these questions and write down their answers.

1) Which of the women you read about in Task 3 do you feel has done the most to empower and/or inspire other women? Why?

2) Which of the women you read about in Task 3 do you think has done the least to empower and/or inspire other women? Why?

3) If you were making your own list of women who have shaped the world we live in today, how many of these women (if any) would feature on it? Who would you include in your list, and who would you leave off it?

More Activities

Intermediate Quizzes & Games for English Language Students >>

text source for biographies: Wikipedia