Page 1

   1 Programfag Engelsk 1

richard burgess | magne dypedahl | hilde hasselgård tom arne skretteberg | maria casado villanueva

     © CAPPELEN DAMM AS, Oslo 2021 Materialet i denne publikasjonen

Welcome to Interactions 1, a textbook for the new curriculum (LK20) in Vg2 English!

er omfattet av åndsverklovens bestemmelser. Uten særskilt avtale med CAPPELEN DAMM AS er enhver eksemplarfremstilling og tilgjengeliggjøring bare tillatt i den utstrekning det er hjemlet i lov eller tillatt gjennom avtale med Kopinor, interesseorgan for rettighetshavere til åndsverk. Utnyttelse i strid med lov eller avtale kan medføre erstatningsansvar og inndragning, og kan straffes med bøter eller fengsel. Design og sats: Welt, Erlend Askhov Omslagsdesign: Erlend Askhov Omslagsillustrasjoner: Getty Images Forlagsredaktør/Bilderedaktør: Birger Nicolaysen Repro: Narayana Press, Danmark 2021 Trykk: Livonia Print Sia, Latvia 2021 Utgave 1 Opplag 1 ISBN 978-82-02-68690-1 www.interactions.cdu.no www.cdu.no

You have chosen to continue your English studies for another year – an excellent choice! No matter what your future brings, you can be sure that a good command of English will be an invaluable asset, as well as a source of enjoyment. During this year you will have the opportunity to develop your already considerable language skills while deepening and broadening your understanding of the English-speaking world. Our aim is that the book you are holding, combined with the online resources at interactions.cdu.no, will challenge you, engage you and guide you in this learning process. The English language has an ever more important position internationally, and in the first chapter of Interactions 1 we invite you to refresh your understanding of this position and the impact English has on the world. You will also learn more about how English varies around the globe, as well as within the UK and the USA. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 deal with central cross-curricular themes. Chapter 2 is about communication in the context of cultural differences in the broadest sense. Chapter 3 looks at the role of English in the flood of information and opinion that today’s media, including social media, represent and invites you to hone your skills in critical thinking. Chapter 4 deals with current social and political issues in English-speaking countries, focusing on the connections between democracy, citizenship and the rights and duties of the individual. These three chapters share a common structure. Part A: Foundations introduces some of the key concepts and terminology of the theme of the chapter. Part B: Perspectives looks at the theme from the viewpoint of the individual, focusing on personal experiences. Finally, in Part C: Societies we take an overall view of the impact of the theme on democracy, including a focus on particular countries and societies. Chapter 5 is devoted entirely to literature and film. As well as containing a wealth of varied texts it also provides tools for interpretation and analysis in both genres. As you will already have discovered, the only way to learn a language is by using it. Interactions 1 contains a wide variety of tasks and activities, both on the page and online, that invite you to practise your English in speech and in writing. Throughout the book you will also find sections entitled Exploring English. These are designed to increase your understanding of the “nuts and bolts” of English – e.g. words, paragraphs, text cohesion, style – so that you can improve your own spoken and written English. Learning a language is like opening a window on the world. The wider you open it, the more light comes in. We hope you find working with Interactions 1 fun, interesting and – not least – enlightening! Good luck! The authors


       Šƒ’–‡”Śė   TE X T





Start-up activities

The Case of the Lower Case Letter (Jack Delaney)


Short story

English: The Story of the Ugly Duckling


Factual text

Grammar: Concord

Comparing Languages: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Novel extracts

English spelling

Varieties of English


Factual text

Native speakers

The Joys of Being a Trans-Atlantic Couple with a Baby



Accents of British and North American English


Factual text/personal stories

Six Young People: Dialects and Accents


LISTENING: personal stories

Studying Abroad


Factual text/text collage

1: Study Marine Biology at the University of Santa Cruz 42


Preparing to study abroad

University advertisement

2: Motivation Letter for Admission to the Bachelor Programme in Marine Biology


Motivation letter

3: Weird Days in Santa Cruz


Blog post



Language course

Šƒ’–‡”śė    ‘—†ƒ–‹‘•ė‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘ TE X T



They’re Made Out of Meat (Terry Bisson)


LISTENING: short story


Overcoming Differences


Factual text: introduction

Analysing conversations

Challenges in Communication


Text collage

The world’s worst communicators / Grammar: Present tense

1: Communicating with Generation Z (Joanna Hughes)



2: Differences in Male and Female Communication Styles (Simma Lieberman)



3: Six Things People with Autism Want You to Know



4: Funny Misunderstandings



EXPLORING ENGLISH: Communicating in English


Language course




Changing Perspectives


Factual text: introduction

Flipped (Wendelin van Draanen)


LISTENING: novel excerpt

Dealing with Culture Shock


Factual text

Experiencing Culture Shock


LISTENING: personal stories

Culture and Identity


Text collage

1: Perhaps We Are All Immigrants (Rupi Kaur)



2: Am I Rootless, or Am I Free? (Ndéla Faye)


Article/personal story

‡”•’‡…–‹˜‡•ė –Š‡”‡‘’Ž‡Ġ•Š‘‡•

3: Amphibians (Joseph O. Legaspi)



Take It or Leave It (Zadie Smith)



EXPLORING ENGLISH: Expressing Attitudes


Language course


N.R.I. (Raja Kumari)

Grammar: Past tense


 ‘…‹‡–‹‡•ė‹–‹œ‡•‘ˆ–Š‡‘”Ž† TE X T




More Than a Single Story


Factual text: introduction

Grammar: Modal auxiliary verbs



Text collage

TED-talk (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

1: My Standard Response (Karenne Wood)



2: How to Write about Africa (Binyavanga Wainaina)



3: Republicans Don’t Understand Democrats – and Democrats Don’t Understand Republicans (Yascha Mounk)



4: LGBTQ Rights


Factual text/speech

Salaam Brick Lane (Tarquin Hall)


Book extract

Paper Menagerie (Ken Liu)


LISTENING: short story

EXPLORING ENGLISH: Formal and Informal Style


Language course

Grammar: Referring to the future

Šƒ’–‡”Ŝė ĕ      ‘—†ƒ–‹‘•ė ‡ƒ”…Š‘ˆƒ‘‘ ”‘—† TE X T



Critical Thinking and Language


Factual text: introduction

“It’s time to retire English as pop’s lingua franca” (Emma Lee-Moss)


Opinion piece

Watch Your Language: How English Is Skewing the Global News Narrative (Tanya Pampalone)


Opinion piece

True or False?


Text collage

1: Exasperated Plumber Explains to Kanye West Why Flushing Awards Bad for Toilet



2: Patient Zero? Friend Says She Had a Weirdly Sore Throat for a Few Weeks in 2013



3: PizzaGate Conspiracy Theory Thrives Anew in the TikTok Era (Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel)



EXPLORING ENGLISH: Connecting Sentences


Language course



E XPLORE Grammar: Adjectives and adverbs


Fact or opinion?


TE X T The Media and You


Factual text: introduction

Critic (Christopher Hudspeth)



Survivor (Roger McGough)



Fame and Shame


Text collage

1: Idolatry (Sherman Alexie)


Short story

2: Success Kid (Harry Ainsworth)



3: Justine Sacco’s Story (Kurt Wagner)



The Teens Who Decided to Log off


LISTENING: personal stories

The Un-Instagramable Self (Tara Westover)



EXPLORING ENGLISH: Writing Paragraphs


Language course


The Fear (Lily Allen)

 ‘…‹‡–‹‡•ė‡‘…”ƒ…›—†‡””‡••—”‡ TE X T




“Falsehood Flies”: Social Media and Democracy


Factual text: introduction

Blessing or Curse?


Text collage

1: Facebook Ranks Deleting Anti-Black and “Most Harmful” Hate Speech over Comments about White People and Men (Jessica Guynn)



2: YouTube’s Fake News Problem Isn’t Going Away (Alex Shephard)



3: Wikipedia at 20 (Shane Hegarty)


Opinion piece

How YouTube changed our world

The Social Dilemma



Grammar: Prepositions

The Prophet (Alexander Weinstein)


Short story

Grammar: Possessive forms

EXPLORING ENGLISH: Writing in the Media


Language course



Šƒ’–‡”ŝė     ‘—†ƒ–‹‘•ė‡‹‰ƒ‹–‹œ‡ TE X T What Is Citizenship?


Factual text: introduction

Losing Citizenship


LISTENING: interview

My Brother at the Canadian Border (Sholeh Wolpé)


Short story

The Ungrateful Refugee (Dina Nayeri)



How I Became a Brit (Bill Bryson)


Book extract

Patriotism: Pride or Prejudice?


Text collage

1: President Trump’s Speech at Mount Rushmore



2: Our Democracy’s Founding Ideals Were False When They Were Written. Black Americans Have Fought to Make Them True (Nikole Hannah-Jones)


Opinion piece

A National Day for Britain?


LISTENING: interviews



Language course


Grammar: Active and passive

The 1619 Project

‡”•’‡…–‹˜‡•ėŠ‡ †‹˜‹†—ƒŽƒ†–Š‡›•–‡





Making a Stand


Factual text: introduction

The Road to Freedom

Extinction Rebellion – Climate Heroes or Eco-fascists? 252

Text collage

Grammar: Dependent clauses

1: “Freeing the Truth” – Extinction Rebellion Activists on Their Week of Action (Mattha Busby)


News report

2: Stephen Fry’s Video Message


Opinion piece

3: We Should All Be Alarmed by Extinction Rebellion’s Brazen Attack on Press Freedom (Camilla Tominey)


Editorial comment

Thirst (Max Andrew Dubinsky)


Short story

Young Activists


LISTENING: article/personal stories

Black Lives Matter: Singing the Hurt


Factual text/songs

Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)


LISTENING: Novel extract

EXPLORING ENGLISH: Argumentation in Writing and Speech


Language course

Grammar: Direct/indirect speech


 ‘…‹‡–‹‡•ė ‘…—•‘‡”‹…ƒ‡‘…”ƒ…› TE X T




Fault Lines and Earthquakes


Factual text: introduction

People’s Faces (Kae Tempest)

Democracy under Siege


Factual text

The Hill We Climb (Amanda Gorman)

Hillbilly Elegy (J.D. Vance)


Book extract

Working with a film: Hillbilly Elegy



Language course




What Is Reading Good for? (Neil Gaiman)



Introduction to Literature


Factual text: introduction

Working with Short Stories


Factual text

The Moment Before the Gun Went Off (Nadine Gordimer)


Short story


An Analysis of “The Moment Before the Gun Went Off” 324


Robert and the Dog (Ken Saro-Wiwa)


Short story

The Raft (Peter Orner)


Short story

Sixpence (Katherine Mansfield)


Short story

The Flowers (Alice Walker)


Short story

Across the Rooftops (Kevin Barry)


LISTENING: short story

Discussing the Stories


LISTENING: discussion

Working with Poetry


Factual text

Sound Effects in Rap Lyrics


LISTENING: interview

X (Imtiaz Dharker)



Last Snowman (Simon Armitage)





LISTENING: discussion

Mirror (Sylvia Plath)



Ship (Carol Ann Duffy)




Working with a novel

Student essays on a short story

Hope Is the Thing with Feathers (Emily Dickinson)



Student poetry analyses

Working with Film


Factual text

Analysing a film

Writing an Analysis of a Short Story, Poem or Film



EXPLORING ENGLISH: Language and Style


Language course

‡š–•ˆ‘”“—‹…”‡ˆ‡”‡…‡ė Speaking Strategies

(p. 14)

Reading Strategies

(p. 24)

Writing Essays

(p. 83)

Listening Strategies

(p. 88)

Documentaries: Checklist

(p. 200)

Short Stories: Checklist

(p. 328)

Poems: Checklist

(p. 351)


Note: Challenging tasks are marked like this: a At interactions.cdu.no you will find: – interactive comprehension and vocabulary tasks – Explore: learning paths containing texts, videos, interactive tasks and writing tasks – Grammar: explanations and tasks for grammar topics – Revise, Review & Research: tasks for revision and self-evaluation, and suggestions for in-depth work – Subject-specific work: learning paths for working with topics from other subjects – Toolbox: explanations of topics connected to oral and written communication – Audio: recordings of texts and listening tasks



          ĕ       ė –

learn to use speaking and reading strategies appropriate for different situations and purposes

reflect on different varieties of English in some English-speaking countries

gain knowledge of the origins of English words, word formation and strategies for learning vocabulary

see the relationship between English and other languages you know

reflect on the importance of English for education

Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


 ġ             Ģ     Copy the table below. Find someone in your class who matches the information in the squares and write their name on the line. The first person to fill in a four-square row (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) wins. Note: You can only use a name once in the table!

‹†•‘‡‘‡™Š‘ę … speaks English at home.

… practises a sport. Which one?

… wants to study abroad at least one year. Where?

... plays a musical instrument. Which one?

… has learnt a lot of English playing videogames.

… has a dog. What’s its name?

… speaks three different languages. Which ones?

… lives close to your place. What’s the address?

… is a vegetarian.

… likes reading books in English.

… was born in a different town or country.

... has been to at least one English-speaking country. Which one?

… has friends in an Englishspeaking country.

… keeps an English vocabulary notebook.

... has read all the Harry Potter books.

… likes learning English grammar.


              In addition to this textbook, the website at interactions.cdu.no will be a valuable learning tool for you this school year. In pairs or small groups, see who can be the quickest to find:

interactive tasks for the text “The Un-Instagramable Self”

the audio file for the text "Experiencing Culture Shock"

research tasks for Chapter 3

an interdisciplinary lesson (Psychology and English) based on the film Boyhood

a grammar lesson on prepositions

three Norwegian translations of the English word waffle

three English translations of the Norwegian word magasin

         The students in the class stand in two circles, one inside the other, facing each other. Each student discusses the first question with the person in front of them for two minutes. When time is up, those in the inner circle move to the right and discuss the second question with the new person in front of them. Do the same with the rest of the questions.


Do you like learning languages? Why or why not?

2 Why did you choose English this year? 3 Do you find it easier to speak or to write in English? Why do think this is so?

4 Do you use English outside the English classroom? When and where?

5 Do you find English grammar easy? Why or why not?

6 What do you do to improve your English? 7 What do you expect to learn on this course?

8 Do you think music sounds cooler when the lyrics are in English? Why or why not?

9 What do you think you will need English for in your future education or workplace?

10 What is your favourite English-speaking movie or series? Why do you like it?

Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


     You are going to read a detective story. Before reading, discuss with a partner.

a Do you like reading detective stories or watching crime films? Why or why not?

b If you do, what are some books/authors/ series/films you enjoy?

Š‡ƒ•‡‘ˆ –Š‡‘™‡” ƒ•‡‡––‡” By Jack Delaney


She breezed into my office one cold September morning. I'd been enjoying a hot cup of Starbuck's finest and surfing the web for local news. The famous lexical semanticist Professor Edgar Nettleston had been found dead, a gunshot wound to the head. The police verdict was suicide. She held out an elegant hand as she floated towards me and I glimpsed a wedding band with a stone the size of a peanut M&M. “I'm Edith Nettleston.” “Sorry about the old man.” “I'm not. He loved me, but he loved words more. I'll be brief. My husband was working on a paper that will rock the very foundation of lexical semantics. It's worth a fortune in lecture tours, but nobody can find it. I believe his suicide note is a clue to its whereabouts.” She removed a scrap of paper from her blouse. edith. i'm not going to whine, i've had a good life. i've found wealth and happiness as a teacher, a seller of knowledge. but i find myself depressed beyond hope ... and so i'm choosing the hour and manner of my own demise. i have treated you badly. i demanded you dyed your brown curls blonde. i thought i could buy you when i should have won your love. i called you a witch. i'd complain: where's the woman i married? i said you ate too much. if i wanted change, i could have used a carrot rather than a stick. you probably wanted to wring my neck. forgive me. farewell. “It's all written in lower case. My husband was a stickler for correct grammar. I refuse to believe it doesn't mean something.” “Mrs. Nettleston, I think I can help you. There's a couple of odd things about this letter. Firstly, as you say, it's written entirely in lower case. Mr. Nettleston was a world-renowned lexical semanticist, not a teenager texting his BFFs.” “Secondly, it has a more than usual number of homophones, words where there is another word with the same sound but different spelling and meaning. When dealing with a lexical semanticist, that's surely no accident.” “If we read those homophones in order, we have: whine, seller, hour, manner. And translating to their homophones: Wine cellar our manor.” Several hours later, we arrived at the Nettlestons' country house and immediately headed for the basement. A flip of a light switch revealed tunnels filled with rows of dark bottles. “Where is it? It would take years to search this place.” “Not so fast, Mrs. Nettleston. First I have to ask you something: your wedding ring diamond, how large is it?” "It's eight carats. Edgar wouldn't stop talking about it." "That's what I feared." I pulled out my trusty revolver. "How you must have hated him and his lexical semantics! You figured you'd kill him and keep the money from the paper yourself. You forced him to write that suicide note, thinking you knew where it was. But he was suspicious and he'd already hidden it. And he had another surprise for you: the rest of the note, it doesn't reveal where the paper is, it reveals his killer. The final homophones: dyed buy won witch where's ate carrot wring. That is: died by one which wears eight carat ring." As the cops left with Mrs. Nettleston I took a quick trip round the maze of tunnels. It didn't take me long to find it. Most of the wine lay unpacked on racks but in one corner two cases sat stacked, one on top of each other. Carefully, I opened the lower one.

to breeze å fyke, å fare lexical ordboks-, leksikalsk semanticist semantiker / semantikar (semantikk = betydningslære) verdict vurdering, avgjørelse / vurdering, avgjerd lecture tour foredragsturné to whine å klage demise bortgang, død to be a stickler for something å være nøye med noe, å holde strengt på noe / å vere nøye med noko, å halde strengt på noko BFF: best friends forever maze labyrint

 a Who is Edgar Nettleston? b What do the police think is the cause of his death at first? c What does Edith Nettleston want to find? d What is special about the suicide note? e What is a homophone? f How does the detective know where to find the lost item? g What had really happened to Edgar? h How does the detective know what had really happened?

Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


ŚĨ      In pairs, discuss:

ŝĨ     ė Spelling

a Did you like this story? Why / Why not?

a In pairs, take turns reading the different lines of this poem aloud.

b Have you ever read other stories like it? How is this one the same? How is it different?


Had you noticed what was wrong with the note before the detective pointed it out?

ś Ĩ       In pairs, think of other detective stories you know. They can be books, films or series. Make a list of three features that some of those stories share with “The Case of the Lower Case Letter”. For example: “They all have an intelligent detective”.

Ŝ Ĩ      ė Vocabulary

b Rewrite it using the correct spelling. Eye halve a spelling chequer It came with my pea sea It plainly marques four my revue Miss Steaks eye can knot sea. Eye strike a quay and type a whirred And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh. As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite Its rare lea ever wrong. Eye have run this poem threw it I am shore your pleased two no Its letter perfect in it's weigh My chequer tolled me sew. (Sauce unknown)

a Homophones are pairs of words that sound the same but are spelt differently, for example, “dye” and “die”. Make a list of the homophone words in the story.

b Why are these homophones important in the story?


In pairs, try to think of three other sets of homophones and write them down. Compare your sets with those of another pair.

Ş Ĩ     ė Three lies and a truth In groups of four, you are going to take turns playing detectives and suspects. (For help on speaking strategies, see p. 14.)

a First, each of you has to come up with four statements about yourself; they can be experiences, likes/dislikes, skills, wishes, etc. Three must be false statements, and one must be true. Try to think about interesting or unusual things, for example, “Once I was bitten by an iguana”, “I hate eating yellow things”, “As a child I wanted to work in a circus” or “I am colour blind”. Do not make your lies too obviously impossible nor your truths too easy to guess.

b In each round, three of you will be detectives and one of you the suspect. The detectives must interrogate the suspect about the statements and the suspect will have to elaborate on them. For example:


“Where were you when you were bitten by the iguana?” “I was at a beach in Tanzania last year.” “How did it happen?” “I was …” etc.


Each detective then chooses which statement they think is true. Those detectives who guess the correct statement get a point. The suspect gets one point for each detective that guesses wrongly. Then change roles.

ş Ĩ     ė Speaking strategies

ŠĨ     ė Fluency a Take a minute to prepare a topic you feel comfortable talking about. Examples could be your favourite book, film, singer/band, a hobby or a person you admire. Think about a couple of things you can say about it.

b Set a timer and speak about it with a partner for four minutes. Then your partner does the same.


Discuss the following in pairs, in small groups or as a class.

Change partners and speak about the same topic, this time for three minutes. Your new partner does the same.

d Change partners again and speak about the a Did you enjoy the previous task? Why /

same topic, this time for two minutes.

Why not?

e b Did you apply any of the speaking strategies (p. 14) for this task? If so, which ones?


Did you have any specific speaking goals for this particular oral task? If so, which ones? Did you manage to achieve your goals?

Did you manage to say more or less the same to all three partners? When did you feel more confident, the first time, the second time or the third time?

If you managed to say more or less the same to all partners and gained some confidence in the process, you have become more fluent!

Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


ƒ…Ě ‰”‘—†  

S PE A K I NG ST R AT EGI E S Speaking in English can be scary, especially in situations where you do not have time to prepare or rehearse. However, you can use strategies to make those situations less intimidating. Below you will find some of them.

‘Ġ–™‘””›–‘‘—…Šƒ„‘—–ƒ‹‰ Žƒ‰—ƒ‰‡‹•–ƒ‡• In most cases, people will understand you even if you make a few mistakes. Normally, it is more important to be fluent (to speak at a normal pace) than to use the correct grammar. ‘Ġ–”—•Š‹– To be fluent does not mean speaking quickly. Speaking at a normal pace will allow you to pronounce words more clearly and will give you time to think about how to say your next sentence. •‡Žƒ‰—ƒ‰‡ˆ‹ŽŽ‡ •‘”•‡–’Š”ƒ•‡•›‘— ‘™ One strategy to keep up fluency is to use language fillers – set expressions that allow you to keep talking while you think about your next phrase. Here are some of them: “Well, …”, “Let me think ...” , “What I want to say is …” , “Well, what I mean is that …” ‡‡’‹–•‹’Ž‡ Sometimes you may want to communicate something very complicated, and then you get frustrated when you can’t find the words in English to do so. In such situations, state your ideas in shorter sentences and try to think about simpler ways to say more or less the same, with words you know. š’Žƒ‹ĕ‡š’Žƒ‹ĕ‡š’Žƒ‹ Even if you make your sentences simpler, there will be times when you just can’t find the word you are looking for. Then you may need to explain the word you can’t find. For example: “And then I took the … you know, the thing you use to open wine bottles, the one you turn round and round, and …”


ƒ‡‰—‡••‡•ĕ–”›‘—–‡™™‘”†• Experiment with language! If you have learnt a new word recently, try using it in conversation. If it turns out not to be the right word, you can always explain it instead. ‡–›‘—”•‡Žˆ‰‘ƒŽ• If you feel that you are fluent enough, you can set yourself the goal of avoiding a specific error when speaking. Concentrate on one error at a time. For example, for a particular oral task you may decide to try to use verbs in the third person singular (she talks, he says …) correctly. If you realise that you have just made a mistake, go back and repeat the sentence using the correct word. But do not let a mistake you made three sentences ago bother you, just keep going! •ˆ‘”Š‡Ž’ Do not hesitate to ask your listener to help you; conversations are about interaction. For example: “And then I took the… erm… sorry, what do you call that thing you open bottles with?”

ˆ›‘—‰‡–•–—…ĕ†‘Ġ–’ƒ‹… At times, you will lose the thread of what you are saying. There is no shame in interrupting what you are saying, thinking about it and saying it in a different way. Don’t stop or switch to Norwegian: Calm down and keep talking!

In fields like education, sport, business, international politics, diplomacy, science and technology, English holds an unrivalled position as a lingua franca. An international conference on quantum physics, a meeting between Japanese and German business people, a coffee break at a leading Norwegian engineering company, a furious argument between a player and the referee at an international football match: these are just some of the many situations in which English is likely to be called into service.

    a Discuss with your partner the role of English in Norway. Where, when and by whom is English most commonly used?

b Can you think of three advantages of using English as an international language?


Can you think of any disadvantages?

d+ Why do you think English has become the world’s most important lingua franca, and not another language?

‰Ž‹•Šė The Story of the Ugly Duckling

“The Ugly Duckling” is a fairy tale by H. C. Andersen. It tells of a mother duck, whose eggs are hatching. The last of her baby birds to hatch is larger than the other ducklings, and the other birds and animals on the farm consider it to be “ugly”. They mock him, and eventually he runs away. The duckling endures a harsh winter in a cave, and when spring arrives, he sees a flock of swans gliding on the lake. The miserable duckling decides to throw himself into the path of the large swans and be killed. But the swans welcome him as one of their own. When the ugly duckling catches sight of his own reflection in the water, he realises he is not an ugly duckling anymore, but a beautiful, elegant swan. Having realised his beauty and found his family, he takes flight with the other swans, happy at last.

Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


Postcard from the age of the British Empire. A lingua franca is a language used as a medium of communication by people whose native languages are different.

annual årlig / årleg correspondence brevveksling, korrespondanse


How did English become the most important international language? That is actually a rather surprising tale in itself. The year is AD 2500. The General Secretary of the United Nations is giving his annual speech to the General Assembly. He is speaking in Norwegian. Some delegates are listening to the translation, but most are following his speech without earphones, nodding occasionally in agreement. For many, Norwegian is their mother tongue, although they are from nations spread all over the globe. For others it’s a second language, learned at school from an early age and through the influence of Norwegian-dominated media.

Not a very likely scenario, you might say. Norwegian, which today is spoken by only five million people who still can’t agree on a standardised grammar or spelling – what chance does it have of becoming the leading language of the world in 500 years’ time? The same could have been said about English 500 years ago. Around AD 1500 English was spoken by some five or six million people in England. It was a member of the Germanic family of languages. Elsewhere in the British Isles Celtic languages dominated: Irish in Ireland, Welsh in Wales and in Scotland Gaelic. Even in England, English was not without competition. Latin was the language of the church and the Bible. The few books that were printed were usually in Latin too. Both in official business and private correspondence the King was likely to use French. English was seen as a

rather rough language, suitable for the street and the tavern, but for little else. Once you left England, it was of no use to you at all. This ugly duckling of a language has now grown to be the undisputed king of all birds, spoken in over 100 nations that together make up 49 per cent of the world’s population. This did not happen because it was better, easier or more suitable than the others. Just look at English spelling. On that score alone, Norwegian would have been a better choice! Š‡”‹–‹•Š’‹”‡ But it is not spelling or grammar that decides whether a language catches on. There are strong political and economic forces in play. The rise of English as a world language begins with the story of one nation – England – imposing itself on others and spreading its native speakers to distant parts of the globe through colonial expansion. This was often at the expense of existing languages. We need go no further than England’s immediate neighbours – Wales, Scotland and Ireland – to see how the rise of one language can mean the decline of another. English has taken the dominant position that their Celtic languages once held. In more distant outposts of what became the British Empire, the fate of native languages could be even more dramatic. For example, who knows today what language the Aborigines of Tasmania spoke? They are gone, every one of them, hunted and persecuted into extinction. Between 1500 and 1920 the British Empire expanded to become the largest colonial power the world had ever seen. This was helped along in the 1800s when Britain becomes the technological and military leader of the world because it was the first nation to pass through the industrial revolution. People from all over the world went to Britain to be educated in science, engineering and business. And they took back with them the English language as a tool of communication. It was during this whole period of imperial expansion that the seeds of English spread and took root.

undisputed ubestridt / uomstridd to impose oneself on å tvinge seg på, å trenge seg på colonial koloniexpansion ekspansjon, utvidelse / ekspansjon, utviding decline tilbakegang, nedgang to persecute å forfølge exctinction utryddelse, utslettelse / utrydding, utsletting seed spire, frø

Hong Kong, July 1, 1997: Chinese soldiers raise the Chinese flag, marking the moment Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule after nearly 180 years as a British colony. This moment also signifies the definite end of the British Empire. Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


ƒ…Ě ‰”‘—†  

R E A DI NG ST R AT EGI E S Here are a few strategies that can help you to understand written texts better.

—”’‘•‡ėŠƒ–ƒ”‡›‘—”‡ƒ†‹‰ˆ‘”ĝ Often, it is a good idea to read the text fairly quickly first, trying to understand the main points and ideas (“skimming” the text). When you move on to the tasks, you may need to re-read it looking for specific information, skipping the parts that are not relevant for you (“scanning” the text). ‘Ġ––”›–‘—†‡”•–ƒ†‡˜‡”›™‘”† It can be frustrating to find many words you don’t understand in a paragraph. However, it is possible to get a good general idea of the content of a text even if there are many words you don’t know. •‡’ƒ”ƒ–‡š–—ƒŽ‡Ž‡‡–•ĬŽƒ›‘—–ĕ ‹ŽŽ—•–”ƒ–‹‘•ĭ–‘ƒ–‹…‹’ƒ–‡…‘–‡– For example, read the title: “Varieties of English” (p. 25) and look at the layout of the text. Try to guess what type of text this is. •‡’”‡˜‹‘—•‘™Ž‡†‰‡ Anticipate information based on the title. For example, what different kinds of English do you know? While reading, you may be reminded of things you have learnt in previous English


classes, a film you have seen, a book you have read or a conversation you have had. That knowledge may help you to understand and interpret the text better.

—‡••‡ƒ‹‰ˆ”‘…‘–‡š– If you find an unfamiliar word, try to guess what it could mean, ruling out the less likely meanings. Your guess may not be accurate, but it is often enough to help you understand the general meaning of the text. For example, look at the word “delegate” (p. 16) and its context: “The General Secretary of the United Nations is giving his annual speech to the General Assembly … Some delegates are listening”. You probably know from before what kind of organisation the UN is and that every country has representatives there.

—‡••‡ƒ‹‰ˆ”‘™‘”†’ƒ”–• Take the words “loanword” and “multilingual” (p. 28). You may not have encountered them before, but if you know what each of the parts mean, you can guess their meaning easily. •‡‘–Š‡”Žƒ‰—ƒ‰‡•›‘—‘™ Many English words are very similar to Norwegian words (see p. 48). Knowledge of other Germanic languages can be helpful too. Also, if you have a good command of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or Romanian, you may find it easy to understand many words in English that come from Latin or French.

     ė Reading strategies You are about to work with an extensive textbook article. A text of such length requires good strategies in reading for information.

a Skim the entire text. Look at sub-headings, captions and illustrations. The title, “Varieties of English”, tells you the main topic. Think about what you already know about this topic as you skim.

b Read the first four paragraphs on page 26. Then form groups of four students. Each student chooses one section of the text to work with: 1) New Zealand 2) Nigeria 3) South Africa 4) India On your own, do a close reading of your part of the text.


Review and discuss. Now it is time for group work. Tell your partners about the section you have read. The group members should ask each other questions.

d Individual close reading. You should now have a pretty good mindset for understanding the entire textbook article. Do a close reading of the parts of the text your partners have told you about. Be sure to answer the questions in the margin as you go along.

Varieties of English

Mikyla Hongeva, 11, holds a copy of "Finding Nemo" outside her school in Arizona. Mikyla recorded one of the voices in the Navajo language version of the movie, only the second major motion picture to be translated. Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


You may have heard about the three circles of English, which is a nice and orderly way of representing the English-speaking world. In the inner circle, you have the countries where English is the primary language, and it is the mother tongue of most of the people who live there. In the outer circle you have countries where English is an official or national language. These are usually countries that at some point were a part of the British Empire, and English continues to be used in the government, education, business, etc. Outside the outer circle, you have the expanding circle of countries with people who study, speak and use English as a foreign language but where English has no official status.

The Expanding Circle China, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Nepal, Norway, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Russia, Zimbabwe, etc.

The Outer Circle Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zambia, etc.

The Inner Circle USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, etc.

to expand å bre ut, å vokse, å ekspandere / å breie ut, å vekse, å ekspandere to transform å forandre feature trekk

 a What are the three “circles” of English? b Is the description of the English-speaking world through the three “circles” necessarily accurate? Why / Why not? śş

However, the world does not always fit into neat geometrical shapes. For example, if you go to the inner circle country of the USA, you will find 170,000 Americans who speak Navajo at home, and there is even a Navajo school in Arizona that doesn’t introduce English until the third grade. If you travel to the outer circle country of Lesotho you will probably expect to be understood by everyone you meet on the streets of Mokhotlong, since English is an official language. However, you will find that around three in four of the people you meet are not fluent in English. You would probably have more success with English in a small town in Norway, which is in the expanding circle. Within that circle, you will find a lot of variation. In some countries, they start teaching English early, in some countries later. In some countries, you can easily get by if you know English, in some countries you would need other language skills to make yourself understood. In Spain, for example, the chances are that you could get by using English with young people, but you may have trouble talking to older people. This is complicated enough, but we also need to be aware of how languages can mix, borrow from each other and transform when they meet and how this creates very different varieties of each language. Let us look more closely at four countries in the inner and outer circles to try to understand the reasons their inhabitants speak English, the status of the language in the country and some of the features of these varieties.

‡™‡ƒŽƒ† Aotearoa, also known as New Zealand, is an island country located in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of the last countries to be settled by humans. The first inhabitants, Eastern Polynesian people, arrived as late as the 13th century and came to be known as the Māori. The first Europeans arrived in the 17th century and two centuries later, in 1840, New Zealand became a British colony through the signing of a document known as the Treaty of Waitangi, an agreement between the Queen of England and the chiefs of most of the Māori tribes. In 1948 New Zealanders gained the status of New Zealand citizens and the country achieved full legal independence in 1986. Today, English is an official language of New Zealand, together with Te Reo Māori (Māori language). Statistics show, however, that less than 4% of the population (about 21% of all Māori) can have a conversation in Māori about everyday things. Therefore, the government is making efforts to protect and preserve this language together with the cultural heritage of the Māori. They try to make Te Reo Māori visible in New Zealand’s society, through radio and television, using it for street names and signs, in the national anthem and in passports. Yet English remains the first language for most people in most situations. While some argue that the origin of the variety of English spoken in New Zealand (NZ English) is the London Cockney accent, others hold that it is a version of Australian English, as many of the English-speaking settlers came from that country. In any case, NZ English has become its own variety and has developed some particular features. One of the most distinctive is a rising intonation at the end of statements, which makes them sound like questions. (This is something that is becoming trendy in other varieties of English, such as the California Valley Girl Speech, known as “uptalk”.) Speakers of NZ English also tend to make their vowels closer, so that “man” sounds like “men”, and “pen” sounds like “pin”. Another feature of NZ English is borrowings from Māori language, especially in the fields of plants, animals and Māori cultural practices (“haka” Māori dance, “hui” gathering, “kai” food). In informal situations, New Zealanders also use many distinctive slang words and expressions, to the point that it may be difficult for foreigners, even English native speakers, to understand them.

The Māori make up about 16 per cent of the national population of New Zealand. They are the second-largest ethnic group, after European New Zealanders.

heritage arv origin opphav distinctive karakteristisk vowel vokal

 a How did English come to Aotearoa? b Which languages are official in New Zealand? c What are some features of NZ English?

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Customers look at Nollywood movies in a shop at the Idumota market in Lagos, Nigeria.

to boast å skryte linguistic språklig / språkleg diversity mangfold / mangfald legacy arv to evolve å utvikle seg pronunciation uttale unifying samlende / samlande emphasis vekt, trykk, betoning


‹‰‡”‹ƒ Few countries in the world can boast of having as many languages as Nigeria, but they have only one official language – English. British involvement in Nigeria started in the 17th century and the country quickly became a British colony. It was an important source of labour in the slave trade with America. Nigeria became part of the Empire in 1901 and British rule was the only unifying element in a region of incredible religious, ethnic, linguistic, political, and cultural diversity. Nigeria achieved its independence from Britain in 1960. Since that moment, English has remained an important legacy of the imperial past of the country. English is spoken together with more than 500 local languages including some used by millions of people, for example Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. Choosing one of the local languages over the others as an official language could have caused political conflict, so English was selected as the only official language of Nigeria. It evolved into what is now called Standard Nigerian English (SNE), a variety based on British English with some loanwords from local languages and showing, like most African varieties, differences in pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. SNE is used in politics, education, the media, and other official contexts. Some words characteristic of this variety are so established that they have also been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and you can even choose a voice speaking Nigerian English to give you directions on Google Maps. Surprisingly, SNE is not the lingua franca of this multilingual country. The language most commonly used is Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE), spoken by at least half the population of present-day Nigeria as a second language, and by many more as a lingua franca. In the past, NPE was seen as the language of people without education, but today its use is widespread in urban areas and among young people. It is seen as more Nigerian than English, and more unifying than local languages. Like English, it is not linked to a specific ethnic group, and it has become the language of popular culture: pop, rap, afrobeats and the Nigerian movie industry (“Nollywood”), but it still lacks a standard written form. Some features of NPE apart from having different rhythm and intonation are a distinct pronunciation of some words (e.g. “botu” for bottle, “pipu” for people, “futubol” for football, “dokita” for doctor, the blending of words (“throwe” for throw away, “comot” for come out), repetitions for emphasis


‘”†• Once people are past the basic stages of learning a language and can start to communicate, grammar errors tend to be less harmful to communication than vocabulary errors. Imagine somebody in a shop looking for a bracelet, but without knowing this word. They would not get very far by saying the grammatically perfect I’m looking for a thing. If, on the other hand, they just said the word bracelet, they would probably end up in the right department. This does not mean that we can ignore grammar, but we should also work on our English vocabulary. Knowing a word means at least four things: – understanding what the word means – being able to use the word – realising how that word combines with other words – knowing in what sorts of contexts it is appropriate to use it Many words have a meaning that can be described in terms of what they refer to. For example, sheep refers to a woolly animal that eats grass and says “baa”. If we know that, we will understand what people mean when they say “sheep” – at least in most cases. If the animal is young, we call it a lamb rather than a sheep. So part of the meaning of sheep is that it is an adult animal.

When talking about sheep, it is useful to know that the plural form of the word does not have an -s at the end. We say two sheep. This is grammatical information that we need in order to use the word correctly. We also need phonetic information about how to pronounce it. The pronunciation of sheep, /∫i:p/, is probably unproblematic, but in the case of lambs, people may be unaware that the “b” is not pronounced (/læmz/). A sheep is seldom on its own – it likes to be in a flock of sheep or a herd of sheep (rather than a group or band of sheep). Another word that sheep often combines with, is black. A black sheep may simply be an animal of that colour, but the expression is also used (like the Norwegian sort får) about somebody who doesn’t live up to their family’s expectations. This meaning does not follow automatically from the basic meaning of sheep, but can be described as idiomatic. The meaning of an idiomatic expression is not necessarily predictable from the meanings of the words it consists of. Another idiomatic phrase is to count sheep. This phrase too can be interpreted literally, but more often it refers to a way of making yourself go to sleep. The word sheep is not particularly formal or informal, so it can be used in most contexts where it is natural to talk about sheep. However, meat-eaters may know that a sheep becomes mutton before it is served up in a dish. Mutton comes from the French mouton (which means “sheep”, both alive and dead). And here we touch on one of the reasons English is often said to be a particularly rich language: it sometimes has a double set of vocabulary coming from either Old English or from French.

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‰Ž‹•Šƒ†‘”™‡‰‹ƒ˜‘…ƒ„—Žƒ”‹‡• English is a Germanic language. Like for example Norwegian, German and Dutch, it comes from a language that was spoken in Europe about 3000 years ago. This is one of the reasons why some English and Norwegian words resemble each other. Examples include words for family members and body parts, as seen in the table below, which also contains German and Dutch for comparison. English




arm ear







































Another reason is that words have been borrowed by one language from another. In the Viking Age, many Scandinavian words came into English with people who arrived, not just to rape and pillage, but to settle and trade with the locals. For example, bush, lift and town come from the Old Norse words for busk, løfte and tun. Since the mid-20th century, the borrowing has gone the other way: Norwegian has adopted a vast number of English words. One word that can illustrate the borrowing nicely is bag. A likely source of the English word is the Old Norse baggi, which meant “bag, pack, bundle”. When borrowed back into Norwegian, it was with a different meaning and with the English pronunciation /bæg/. But a bag is not quite the same thing in English and Norwegian. Handbags, backpacks and suitcases are all types of bag in English, while we would use other words than bag about these in Norwegian. In general, we need to be aware that similar-looking English and Norwegian words do not always mean the same: the words may be false friends. Some examples are actually/aktuelt, eventually/eventuelt, fabric/fabrikk, mug/mugge,


oversight/oversikt and permission/permisjon. The words in these pairs are never good translations of each other. Then there are other pairs of words which we may call unreliable friends. Like bag, they sometimes mean the same, but they do not share all of their meanings and uses. Some examples are public/publikum, cook/koke, side/side, simple/simpel, and tour/tur. Diff‡”‡–’‡”•’‡…–‹˜‡•‘‰Ž‹•Š As mentioned earlier in the chapter, English picked up words from the languages in countries that the British either colonised or traded with. Many of these words have been changed to fit into English spelling and pronunciation. An example is ketchup, which according to the Oxford English Dictionary probably comes from the Chinese kê-chiap, although both the spelling and the sauce itself have been adapted from the original. The noun bungalow (a onestoried house) comes from the word banglā, which means “belonging to Bengal” (today’s Bangladesh). Coffee and couscous both come from Arabic, and so does giraffe, although the giraffe has travelled to English through languages that are geographically closer to Africa: Spanish, Portuguese and French. The fact that English has borrowed so much from all over the world makes it possible to find similarities between the vocabularies of English and many other languages, especially French, which was the administrative language of England during much of the Middle Ages, and from Latin, which was the language of religion and science. And since English loanwords are widespread, we may get some words for free. But it is not just English that has adapted the pronunciation, meaning and grammar of its loanwords. For example, the words burger and chips exist in many languages. How do you pronounce them in Norwegian and in other languages you know?

”‡ƒ–‹‰‡™™‘”†•ˆ”‘‘Ž†‘‡• A suffix is a group of letters that are added at the end of a word to change it to a different word class or give it a different meaning. A prefix is a group of letters that are added at the beginning of a word to change its meaning.

Sometimes it is possible to expand one’s vocabulary by taking what we know and adding to it. The best – and most reliable – example is that we can create adverbs from adjectives by adding the suffix -ly. Thus we get beautifully, fascinatingly, obsessively and unbelievably from beautiful, fascinating, obsessive and unbelievable. It is also sometimes possible to create nouns from adjectives by adding a suffix, especially -ness. So if we know the adjectives good, mean and sad, we also know goodness, meanness and sadness. We can also use prefixes to give a word – especially an adjective, but also some nouns and verbs – the opposite meaning. Examples of such prefixes are un-, im-, in-, and mis-, which can give us for instance unforgiveable, unlock, impossible, incompetent, misunderstand. The fact that many English nouns have the same form as verbs can make it possible to use a noun as a verb or the other way round. This will not always work as a strategy, but there are lots of examples of words that are both nouns and verbs, such as change, mail, move, rest, sleep and work. In Norwegian we can connect two or more words into one, especially to form nouns. Thus we can get saueflokk, skolemat, and utdanningsminister, and have little trouble understanding sommerleirplanleggingsmøte. English sometimes does this too, although English compound nouns are usually written as two words, not one, as in school lunch. The preposition of is extremely useful for creating phrases instead of single words, so we can say a flock of sheep, a minister of education, and experience of working as a journalist.


“You shall know a word by the company it keeps.” john firth, linguist

This quotation means that word meanings are coloured by the kind of words they occur with. For example, the exact meaning of strong is not the same in strong tea as in strong athlete. In addition, some words seem to belong together, and we remember and use them as chunks. Some examples are I don’t know, to be honest, at the same time, and thank you very much. These are not idioms in the sense that the words in them are used in a particular way. Instead, we can see them as language habits that a lot of native speakers of English share. Such language habits also explain why most native speakers will say bacon and eggs (rather than eggs and bacon) and use the word pretty about girls and women and handsome about boys and men, even if both adjectives mean “good-looking”. It is possible to learn about such language habits by reading about them – for example we can learn that the subject of the verb set in is usually something negative, such as the monsoon set in, or severe symptoms set in. Likewise, the verb cause is associated with negative things (the drought caused a famine) while positive consequences are better described with the verb lead to (this led to a breakthrough). But the best way to become familiar with language habits is to read and hear a lot of the language we are learning. Prepositions are a type of words that are particularly tricky to choose correctly in combination with other words. One reason is that many prepositions are closely linked to the adjective, noun or verb that precedes them. So while Norwegians say glad i and flink til, English speakers say fond of and good at. Confusingly, English uses different prepositions after dependent (on) and independent (of). Nouns that come from adjectives usually take the same preposition as the adjective, but not always, so we have dependence on but fondness for. Some verbs are followed by similar prepositions in English and Norwegian, as in talk about / snakke om, but

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in other cases the prepositions are less predictable from a Norwegian point of view, as in smile at, point at, hope for and report on. It is a bit easier to choose correct prepositions when they are used with their literal meanings, often about place and time. ‘…ƒ„—Žƒ”›’”‘„Ž‡• It is inevitably more difficult to find the right words in a foreign language than in our native language. Learners of a language have a more limited vocabulary than native speakers, and they tend to use simple words with a general meaning in a lot of different contexts. Examples of such words are thing, people, get, make, very, good, nice and bad. Using such words can be a great strategy when speaking because it means that we are not stuck for words. However, we may need to express ourselves with more nuance and precision, so it is a good idea to learn and use words that are more specific as well. For example, learners may say He got treatment for his ulcer and They are very involved in crime while native speakers might prefer received treatment and heavily involved. The choice of individual words has to do with nuance as well as with the company words keep. To express the right nuances, we need to be aware of the connotations of words. This means that some words have a negative or positive ring in themselves. For example, a smell can be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, while odour is always bad and fragrance is always good. A word can also look strange in combination with another even if it expresses the right meaning. For example, perfect and flawless are synonyms in many contexts, but you can only use perfect in the expression perfect pitch. Similarly, there are sometimes two English words corresponding to one Norwegian one, such as pure and clean, which both mean ren. But it would be odd to talk about clean gold and pure clothes, and native speakers of English might have trouble understanding what was meant. So wrong synonyms can in fact lead to communication problems.



– A good vocabulary is important in communication.

– Knowing a word means to understand what it means and be able to use it in the right combinations with other words and in the right situations.

– Many words resemble each other across different languages that share a common history.

– False friends are words that resemble each other in form but have different meanings.

– Unreliable friends are words that only sometimes work as each other’s translations.

– We can expand our vocabulary by adding certain prefixes or suffixes to words we already know.

– The ways that words combine with each other can be described as language habits.

– Words with similar meanings do not always fit into the same contexts.

– Words with general meanings are a good strategy for keeping a conversation going but lack precision and nuance.


ŚĨ                ė Animals Write explanations of the following idiomatic expressions involving animals: for donkey’s years, till the cows come home, like a lamb to the slaughter, a hen party

b You may know other languages than English and Norwegian either from home or from school. Can you think of words that are false friends between English and those languages?

Ş Ĩ       In the following sentences, written by Norwegian pupils, some “Norwenglish” expressions and false friends have sneaked in. Identify and correct the errors.

a They were working in a fabric. b I got the helmet on and sat me on the cycle.



Mutton comes from sheep, but what animals do beef, pork, veal and venison come from?

d But the book is very good, it is easy to read and easy

In some countries, girls still can’t take an education.

to understand. The history is ok and the drawings are cool.

Ŝ Ĩ                              


Many mean that it is boring to read books.

a Do the words below have the same meanings in


In Norway everybody goes in a train on May 17.

English and Norwegian?

g This is an actual question. boat/båt – cream/krem – flesh/flesk – foot/fot – hound/hund – meal/mel – neck/nakke – steak/steik – trousers/truse

b The following English words come from Latin (often via French). Do you know any French or Spanish words that look and sound similar and have similar meanings? advanced, avenue, beauty, cause, court, discover, government, parliament, possible, voyage

h Many people crash their cars because the fart is too big.

şĨ              Translate the following compound nouns into English. barnelitteratur – basilikumblader – eplesaft – havbunnen – hushjørnet – jordoverflaten – kjøkkenbord – medisinstudent – pizzatyper – plastgjenvinning – sportsklær



a For each of the English words in the pairs of false

Some areas of life demand a very specific vocabulary, which you might not have come across. Have you tried cooking with someone who speaks English and discovered you didn’t know the words for the kitchen equipment? Or visited a farm, a workplace or a hospital in an English-speaking country?

friends below, write a sentence where you use the word correctly. For each of the Norwegian words, find an appropriate English translation. actually/aktuelt – eventually/eventuelt – mug/mugge – oversight/oversikt – permission/permisjon

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a In groups of 3–5 students, choose one of the topics below and collect a list of twenty words that are central in that field. Use a dictionary or other online material to make sure you know what the words mean and how they are used. Topics: food and drink – board games – fashion and beauty – hiking – cars and other vehicles – tools and equipment – travel and holidays – a topic from one of your other classes (biology, economics, science, physical education …)

b Then select ten of your words and create a quiz for one of the other groups. The quiz can take the form of questions (for example “What does love mean in tennis?”, or “How do you say skiføre in English?”), or a game of hangman with the added twist that the winner has to explain the meaning of the word.

ŢĨ              For each English word in the pairs of unreliable friends, write down one sentence where the Norwegian word could be used as a translation and one where it could not. Show your sentences to a classmate and see if you agree on the meaning differences between the English and the Norwegian words. public/publikum – cook/koke – side/side – simple/simpel – tour/tur

ŚřĨ     a Work in groups. Find more cases where one Norwegian word corresponds to two English ones (as in the case of clean and pure both meaning ren). How would you explain the difference in meaning between the English words to somebody who didn’t know?

b You may reverse the exercise, since there

– E X PLOR E & E X PL A I N –

šĨ                     a The following words do not have exactly the same meanings when they are used as loanwords in Norwegian as when they are used as English words. For each word, explain the difference between the English and the Norwegian meaning. body – boots – chat/chatte – dull/døll – fitness – mail – tough/tøff

b Write down some English words and phrases that you often use when you speak Norwegian. Do you use them with exactly the same meanings as they have when they are used in English? Şś

are also cases where one English word corresponds to two Norwegian ones, as in morning = morgen + formiddag. How do you explain the difference between morgen and formiddag to somebody learning Norwegian? Are there other such examples?

ŚŚĨ            Read the poem by Emily Dickinson below. Discuss with a classmate what she may have meant by the sentence “A word is dead when it is said”. Do you agree more with that claim or with the claim made after I say? A word is dead when it is said, Some say – I say it just begins to live That day.



          ĕ       ė –

develop strategies for adapting communication to different situations

develop strategies for adapting to people with different lifestyles, mindsets and communication styles

reflect on texts that give different perspectives on the world

discuss and reflect on current topics of discussion in English-speaking countries

practise how to express attitudes Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits


‡”•’‡…–‹˜‡•ė In Other People's Shoes



Think about a situation where you misjudged another person because you had too little information.

– – – – –

a What made you come to the first conclusion?

ethnocentrism decentring empathy cultural empathy culture shock

b What did you learn about the other person that made you change your mind?

Changing Perspectives Try to see it my way Do I have to keep on talking ’til I can't go on? While you see it your way Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone We can work it out the beatles, “we can work it out”

–Š‘…‡–”‹• It is only natural to see things our own way. We all have different family backgrounds, upbringings and personalities, so it is no surprise that we end up with different perspectives on things. The problems arise when we judge other people based solely on our own perspective. Imagine, for example, that you are somewhere in Norway and you ask a passer-by for directions. If the directions turn out to be wrong, then you are likely to draw the conclusion that your informant was either ignorant or a liar. If the same thing happened in Thailand, then the explanation could be quite different – your informant was simply being polite and wanted to oblige you, even if he or she was not quite sure of the way.

solely utelukkende, kun, bare / eine og aleine, berre to oblige å gjøre til lags, å imøtekomme / å gjere til lags

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


to offend å fornærme, å støte / å fornærme, å støyte to relate å forholde seg til / å møte

 a Which different forms can self-centredness take? b How do we learn what is considered normal and appropriate? c Is it wrong be proud of your own background and identity?


It is vital, then, to be able to see our own perspective as one of many possible perspectives. If we are too self-centred, this is likely to affect how other people perceive us. This self-centredness can take the form of both egocentrism and ethnocentrism. Whereas egocentrism puts yourself at the centre, ethnocentrism means to put your own group of people at the centre. Egocentric people easily offend others because they do not seem to understand that there are any other perspectives than their own. Ethnocentric people can have the same effect on others, but ethnocentrism is probably easier to cure. The root of ethnocentrism is that we tend to interpret what we see and hear from our own perspective in life. There are good reasons for that. Our upbringing teaches us particular ways of doing things and thinking. This will inevitably give us an idea of what is “normal” and “appropriate”. At the same time, as we grow up we learn to adjust to how different people behave. We develop other ways of communicating with friends than with parents, and we relate differently to different people. This is all good. However, as we get older we may start dividing people into groups: the ones we can identify with – and the rest. There is nothing wrong with a sense of belonging and identity. It is only natural to care more about family and friends than others, to root for your local handball team and to hope Norway wins the Eurovision Song Contest, even if you know the Swedish song is best. Ethnocentrism is not about being proud of who you are, rather it is about relying exclusively on your own upbringing and perspective to judge other people. If someone arrives late for an appointment and presents a lame excuse, we might interpret it as rudeness. However, in many societies such a "white lie" may be a form of politeness to spare everyone the embarrassment of hearing that they had forgotten about the whole thing. Less obvious examples of ethnocentrism take place in every workplace and every classroom. Those who think or behave differently from the dominant group may easily be looked upon as strange or less valuable.

‡…‡–”‹‰ The process of becoming less ethnocentric can be a long one, but the key is to learn more about other people. Who are they and what are their backgrounds? The aim is to understand other perspectives on life than our own (ethnocentric) view, which includes other ways of doing things and other ways of thinking. When we try to see ourselves from the outside and focus on other people’s perspectives, we call it “decentring” (Byram, 1997, p. 3). It involves seeing that there are many ways of doing things and many ways of thinking. Although it may sometimes be necessary to change particular ways of thinking, for example when they represent a threat to democracy or equality or the environment, we should always try to understand other points of view and other perspectives on life in order to communicate in a constructive way. ’ƒ–Š› To be able to decentre, we need to develop empathy – the ability to change perspectives and put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes. Some form of empathy can be used in any encounter with other people. Even if we can never know exactly how it is to be someone else, we can still try to understand another person’s position. Empathy is more than just sympathy. If a friend has lost a grandmother, we can feel sympathy by thinking about our own grandmother. But that does not necessarily tell us anything about how our friend is feeling. Empathy requires knowledge about our friend and the relationship between our friend and his or her grandmother. For example, did they love each other dearly or did they hardly know each other? With more background knowledge and the ability to change perspectives we will be more able to understand our friend’s reactions.

encounter møte

—Ž–—”ƒŽ‡’ƒ–Š› We may think that our communication styles and ways of thinking are unique to us as individuals, but they are also influenced by the society we live in. To put it another way, our communication styles and ways of

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


To understand Australian culture, it helps to have a sense of humour!

determined bestemt indecisiveness ubesluttsomhet / rådville vibrant pulserende, livfull / pulserande, livfull sparse spredt / spreidd

thinking are also culturally determined. We can see this clearly in the way people in different societies and groups of people relate to time (how late is too late, for example?), or to admitting to mistakes. In Norway, for example, the media will always expect politicians and others to admit even the tiniest mistake, and will readily forgive them if they have been honest. In other societies, admitting mistakes may be seen as a sign of weakness or indecisiveness. By studying other societies, we develop cultural empathy, i.e. the ability to understand the cultural background of other people and see things from the perspective of another society. Take people in Australia, for example: if we know something about how and when the country was settled, if we know a little about the demography of the country (vibrant, modern cities and the huge sparsely populated “outback”) and their role as a major power in the Pacific region, then we have a better chance of seeing how the world looks from an Australian perspective. The deeper our understanding of another society, the less one-dimensional our view of it becomes. This does not mean that we automatically become well prepared to understand and communicate with any Australian we happen to meet, but it is a very good starting point.

–‡”…—Ž–—”ƒŽ‡…‘—–‡”• Fortunately, there is no need to go abroad to experience diversity. Since “culture” can refer to any group of people – from families to civilisations – that have developed shared ways of behaving and thinking, we all encounter new cultures quite often. Just going to a friend’s house for dinner can involve an encounter with different communication styles, ways of doing things and ways of thinking. If crossing a threshold involves an intercultural encounter, then crossing national borders will usually mean encountering several new cultures at the same time. Norwegians moving abroad or foreigners moving to Norway will often be faced with a new school environment, a new neigh-


bourhood and new cultural traditions. If we add to this the necessity of learning a new language, the sum of new experiences can easily lead to strain or even so-called culture shock. But more importantly, studying intercultural encounters in texts and in real life is both rewarding and the best way of developing intercultural competence. All kinds of cultural encounters can be used for reflection and intercultural learning. Here are some points that can guide such work: – – – – – –

– –

Describe the situation. Describe what each of the persons involved says and does. What seem to be the expectations of the people involved in the situation? What seems to be the misunderstanding or tension in this situation? How would you describe the actions of the people involved based on your own background and from your own perspective? Take the perspective of each of the persons involved and try to describe the situation from their point of view. How might they reason in this situation and why do you think they communicate as they do? Can you relate this incident to anything you have experienced yourself? What have you learned from this and how can you apply your understanding of this incident to other situations?

(Adapted from Dypedahl, 2020, pp. 146-147) Reference list Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Multilingual Matters. Dypedahl, M. (2020). Reflection Tools for Intercultural Awareness. In M. Dypedahl & R. E. Lund (Eds.), Teaching and Learning English Interculturally (pp. 130-149). Cappelen Damm Akademisk. The Interculture Project. (2002). Intercultural Incidents. Lancaster University. https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/users/interculture/deliver11.htm

Curiosity is important if you want to explore and understand the world. strain stress, belastning, / stress, belasting

 a How can we become less ethnocentric? b Explain how the way you communicate and think is “culturally determined”. c What would be useful to know if you were going to communicate with an Australian? d Why is it important to learn about other societies? e What can be challenging about moving abroad?

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


ŚĨ          ė Main ideas Choose a partner and use the following terms to discuss the main ideas in this article:

ŜĨ      ė Intercultural encounters Make use of the points on p. 79 to analyse the following intercultural encounters:

a A girl from India went to Canada to study. The first time she was invited to a Canadian home for dinner, she was very surprised when she was never offered food a second time. To her, the polite thing to do was to decline the food the first time it was offered, and then be ready to accept the second time. The result was that she left quite hungry.

ethnocentrism – identity – decentring – empathy – cultural empathy – culture shock

ś Ĩ      a What is the difference between being egocentric and being ethnocentric? What is the difference between showing sympathy and showing empathy? Can you think of situations or examples to illustrate each term?

b Margaret Jones is a British university student who has been working as an English Language Assistant in an Italian school for a month. She has already met most of her colleagues. They are all very nice and friendly, but Mario Rossi, the PE teacher, a young man in his late twenties, seems to make a point of talking to her in the corridor and often puts a hand on her arm or shoulder while doing so. She finds this slightly disturbing and does not feel completely at ease.

b What are the lessons to be learned from these statements? – “The stranger sees only what he knows.” (African proverb) – “We do not see the world as it is, but as we are.” (Anaïs Nin) – “In most cases, travelling does not really broaden one’s mind; it merely shows or reminds one that one’s mind is narrow.” (Mokokoma Mokhonoana)


“I know how you feel”: Is it really possible to understand how others feel? Why / Why not?

d An old proverb reads: “Tell me where you

ŝĨ      ė Vocabulary & Speaking Work in groups of four.

a Write each of the words below on a sepa-

come from and I’ll tell you who you are." Discuss how the place(s) we come from can influence who we are. Then discuss all the other factors that influence who we are and who we want to be.


Many people claim that reading a good book makes you better able to understand other people and feel empathy. In what way do you think reading fiction can improve the ability to see things from other people’s perspectives?

rate piece of paper. Put all the pieces face down on the table (or put them in a hat). Draw two pieces each without showing them to each other. perspective – egocentric – identity – empathy – ethnocentrism – communication – onedimensional – diversity – misunderstanding – stereotype – background – neighbourhood

b Prepare a definition of your two words, but without mentioning the word itself in any way.



Then play a word game with the following rules:

The players take turns to read their definiitions to the other members of the group. You are allowed to explain and answer questions, but not to mention the word you are explaining. The person who guessses the right word, gets a point. If nobody has guessed the right word within two minutes, move to the next player. If someeone mentions the word they are defining in the definition, they lose a point. The person with the highest score wins.

Ş Ĩ      ė Drawings

b Look at the drawing above and discuss possible values or attitudes that make the women evaluate each other the way they do.

a Look at the drawings below and discuss how they relate to the text you have read.


Imagine that you are one of the women. How could you have used the points given on p. 79 to understand the other woman better?

şĨ     ė Avoiding ethnocentrism a When we meet someone with a different cultural background, how can we best avoid making mistakes? Here are some suggestions – discuss each and state whether you think it is a good idea or not and why: – ask questions and show interest in the other person’s cultural background – speak only about general topics that are known everywhere, for example football – if possible, read up on the other person’s home town, region or country before you meet – make fun of stereotypes about the other person’s national culture – everyone appreciates humour – smile a lot, and avoid any show of negative emotion – keep your head down as much as possible and say as little as possible – allow the other person to decide the topic of conversation – compare your values with the other person’s, discussing which are best

b Which intercultural skill (see p. 62) would each point be a good or bad example of? Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


    Think about your own cultural background and all the group cultures you belong to, such as your family, neighbourhood, school and nationality. Do you feel you are drawn between group cultures that are very different? Is there any potential conflict here? Explain your answer.

—Ž–—”‡ ƒ† †‡–‹–› Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


Perhaps We Are All Immigrants




By Rupi Kaur perhaps we are all immigrants trading one home for another first we leave the womb for air then the suburbs for the filthy city in search for a better life some of us just happen to leave entire countries




womb livmor, beskyttet sted (overført) / livmor, beskytta plass (overført) suburb forstad, drabantby

to coin å lage formative formende, grunnleggende / formande, grunnleggjande to fit the bill å passe to merge å slå sammen, å forene / å slå saman, å sameine dreaded fryktet / frykta to omit å utelate, å hoppe over palatable akseptabel, tiltalende / akseptabel, tiltalande to reinvent å finne opp på nytt


Am I Rootless, or Am I Free? By Ndéla Faye When your mother is from Finland, your father from Senegal, and you live in neither, your identity becomes a matter of choice. “No, but where are you really from?” It is the question that automatically makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Like many “third culture kids” (TCKs), I panic, wondering whether the question refers to my nationality, where I was born, where I am living now, or where my parents live. The term, coined by the American sociologist Ruth Hill Useem, refers to a child who has spent a significant part of their formative years outside their parents’ culture. People who fit that bill have a tendency to mix and merge their birth culture with their adopted culture, creating one of their own: a third culture. Depending on the person and situation, I’ll have different answers to that dreaded question. I’ll tell white lies and change my story as I go, like many other TCKs. Sometimes I’ll go for the quick answer: Finland and Senegal. Other times I’ll tell the whole story: that I was born in Helsinki, moved to Luxembourg, then to Brussels and finally to London. Or I might say that my mum is from Finland and dad from Senegal, but that I really feel like my home is in the UK now. Each time I get the question, I feel like I need to explain myself, prove my origins, and because of that I’ll often find myself omitting parts of my story in order to make my identity more palatable for others. Living like this can sometimes feel liberating: I feel as though I’m wearing different masks, and I am constantly able to reinvent myself. But this also presents a dilemma: who am I really? Which of these masks is the true me? Where do I belong? In my case, this is made even more complex as I’m biracial. Although I was born in Finland, I’m aware that I don’t look

typically Finnish – but seeing as I’ve never lived in Senegal, I feel strange saying I’m from there. Then again, I don’t feel very Finnish either, as I’ve lived abroad for most of my life. They’re both countries where I have family, and are places that I visit every few years – places I think of with nostalgia. But when I’m actually there, I feel out of place, like an outsider. So where is home? Identity is attached to a sense of belonging, usually through family ties or deep emotional connections. Home suggests an emotional place – somewhere you truly belong, but I, like many other TCKs, never quite feel at home anywhere. It feels sometimes that I am in limbo. I am a strange mix of I-don’t-know-what, and sometimes I feel as if I’ll never find that one place where I belong 100%. I just feel blessed to have had the privilege of experiencing so many cultures. I sometimes wonder whether my life would be different if I had grown up in one place. I wonder what it would be like to have lived in a house where there were ruler marks beside a doorframe, documenting each of my childhood growth spurts; to have a friend who’s known me since nursery; not to feel like a tourist, wandering around with a map in a country that I’m supposed to embrace as my own. Sometimes I resent the fact that I have to give complicated answers to seemingly simple questions. At other times it all seems rather trivial: as I watch my nieces and nephews growing up, and laying the basis of their identities among multiple cultures, I cannot help but feel proud. What an amazing opportunity, to speak multiple languages and see so many countries. Being rootless has given me a sense of freedom. I feel grateful for the experiences I’ve had, and I am proud to feel, above all, like a citizen of the world. The possibilities for the future are endless. The sense of being at home anywhere, yet feeling that home is nowhere, is part of who I am. I love being able to choose to be whoever I want, wherever I go. My many masks are a storyboard of all that I am. I’ve gradually built myself an identity that is a collection of pieces, each of which I’ve handpicked; choosing the best bits in order to create a whole. I’ve realised that those pieces are not mutually exclusive, but that they are all dependent on each other. Being rootless doesn’t mean I don’t belong to any one place; it means I choose to belong to many.

limbo ingenmannsland growth spurt veksthopp nursery barnehage mutually exclusive gjensidig utelukkende / gjensidig utelukkande

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture





By Joseph O. Legaspi


Amphibians live in both.

shoreline vannkant / vasskant tadpole, polliwog rumpetroll to metamorphose å omdannes, å forvandles / å bli omdanna, å bli forvandla gill gjelle to oxygenate å tilføre oksygen, å oksidere to toil å slite, å kjempe gland kjertel

Immigrants leave their land, hardening in the sea.

Through damp skin amphibians oxygenate.

Out of water. In Greek, amphibian means “on both sides of life.” Terra and aqua. Shoreline. In fresh water: amphibians lay shell-less eggs; immigrants give birth to Americans. Tadpoles, polliwogs metamorphose: gills in early stages. On land,


amphibians develop lungs. Immigrants develop lungs.

Immigrants toil and sleep breathlessly. Skin forms glands. Eyes form eyelids. Amphibians seek land; immigrants, other lands. Their colors brighten, camouflage. They’ve been known to fall out of the sky. Fully at home in the rain.


d What do you think Legaspi (text 3) means by “Immigrants develop lungs”, “Skin forms glands” and “Eyes form eyelids”?

a What is a Third Culture Kid (TKC)? b What are some advantages and disadvan-


What would you say is the common theme of these three texts? (See p. 351 for more about themes in poetry.)


In text 2 Ndéla Faye links her mixed cultural background to the countries she has her roots in. But it is quite possible to have mixed cultural experiences without these international connections. Group cultures, for example family cultures, can be very different from each other. Discuss what advantages there are in having a mixed cultural background of any sort when it comes to developing communication strategies.

tages of being a TKC, according to Ndéla Faye?


In his poem, Joseph O. Legaspi compares immigrants and amphibians. What do they have in common, according to the poem?

ś Ĩ      a Why do we all resemble immigrants, according to Rupi Kaur’s poem (text 1)?

b Have you ever felt “in between” different group cultures? When and why? Why could it be an advantage to be able to identify with more than just one group?

ŜĨ       ć      a All three texts refer to “home”. Choose


“Being rootless doesn’t mean I don’t belong to any one place; it means I choose to belong to many," Faye writes (text 2). Do you agree with Faye that identity can be a “matter of choice”? If so, when and how? If not, why not?

any means you want to express the idea of “Home”. You can write a poem or a short narrative, make a painting, use a combination of media, or create a digital story or video.

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers), an installation by artists Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier that was created to bring attention to the global refugee crisis. Each of the 25 orange figures represents one million of the total number of refugees in the world in 2019.

Ş Ĩ      ė Writing Choose one of the statements below and write an argumentative essay (see p. 83) in which you argue your point of view on the statement: – It is a human right to be able to move and live where you want. – Countries in the industrialised world have a moral duty to welcome migrants. – Immigration is a threat to the national culture of the host country. – A country without immigration is a boring country.

b Make an exhibition in the class where everyone can look at each other’s creations. Choose a contribution you like and give feedback to the student who created it, explaining what it was you liked about it.

ŝ Ĩ      ė Vocabulary a The word rootless has two parts: root + less. Write down five other words that also end in -less. Make sure you know what they mean. Show your list of words to a partner to see whether you have the same ones.

b The text “Am I Rootless or Am I Free?” also contains the word grateful. Write down five other words that end in -ful and again compare your words to those of a classmate. Discuss whether any of these words can end in -less instead, with the opposite meaning.




Another word with a suffix (see p. 49) from the same text is freedom. Write down three other words that end in -dom. Again, compare your words with those of a partner. Can your words be translated into Norwegian words ending in -dom?

The Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari released a track called “N.R.I” in 2020. The song and video are about her experiences as someone who belongs to two different national cultures but is made to feel alien in both of them. You will find the lyrics and the video at interactions.cdu.no. Tasks are included.

    Discuss the following:

a Dos and don’ts are unofficial “rules” for how to behave in a certain situation. Can you come up with a list of dos and don’ts in the following situations? – meeting a boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s parents for the first time at a dinner in their home – being interviewed for a job at the local grocery store – giving an oral presentation in English class – ordering food at a restaurant in Manchester

b Have you ever done something that was not according to the dos and don’ts of that situation? If so, what consequences did your actions have? What could you have done differently?

Take It or Leave It By Zadie Smith The first time I ordered takeout in New York, two things confounded me: the terrific speed with which the food arrived, and the fact that, after I’d paid for it, the man from the Chinese restaurant and I stood on either side of the threshold staring at each other, though only one of us understood why. After a minute of this, I closed the door. An American friend sat on the sofa, openmouthed: “Wait – did you just close the door?” In London, you don’t tip for delivery. A man on a motorbike arrives and hands over an oil-soaked bag, or a box. You give him the exact amount of money it costs or wait and look at your shoes while he hunts for change. Then you close the door. Sometimes all this is achieved without even the removal of his motorcycle helmet. The dream (an especially British dream) is that the whole awkward exchange pass wordlessly. Every New Yorker has heard a newly arrived British person grumble about tipping. The high-minded Brits add a lecture: food-industry workers shouldn’t need to scrabble for the scraps thrown from high table – they should be paid a decent wage (although the idea that the delivery boys of Britain are paid a decent wage is generally an untested assumption). Now when I’m in London I find myself tipping all kinds of people, most of whom express a sort of unfeigned amazement, even if the tip is tiny. What they never, ever do, however, is tell me to have a nice day. “Have a good one”– intoned with a slightly melancholy air, as if warding off the far greater likelihood of an evil “one” – is the most you tend to hear.

to confound å forvirre, å forbløffe to grumble å klage, å syte high-minded edel, høysinnet / edel, høgsinna to scrabble å krafse, å rote assumption antagelse / meining unfeigned oppriktig, ekte to intone å messe air preg, mine to ward off å avverge, å holde på avstand / å avverje, å halde på avstand likelihood sannsynlighet / sannsyn

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


to cherish å sette høyt / å setje høgt to elevate å opphøye, å heve / å opphøgje, å heve antic latterlig / latterleg contempt forakt / forakt to opt å velge / å velje delusion innbilning, villfarelse / innbilling, villfaring fag sigarett awning markise perky livlig / livleg onus byrde, forpliktelse / byrde, plikt imperious befalende / befalande


But I’m not going to complain about Britain’s “lack of a service culture” – it’s one of the things I cherish about the place. I don’t think any nation should elevate service to the status of culture. At best, it’s a practicality, to be enacted politely and decently by both parties, but no one should be asked to pretend that the intimate satisfaction of her existence is servicing you, the “guest,” with a shrimp sandwich wrapped in plastic. If the choice is between the antic all-singing, all-dancing employees in New York’s Astor Place Pret-A-Manger and the stony-faced contempt of just about everybody behind a food counter in London (including all the Prets), I wholeheartedly opt for the latter. We are subject to enough delusions in this life without adding to them the belief that the girl with the name tag is secretly in love with us. In London, I know where I stand. The corner shop at the end of my road is about as likely to “bag up” a few samosas, some milk, a packet of fags, and a melon and bring them to my home or office as pop round and write my novel for me. (Its slogan, printed on the awning, is “Whatever, whenever.” Not in the perky American sense.) In New York, a restaurant makes some “takeout” food, which it fully intends to take out and deliver to someone. In England, the term is “takeaway,” a subtle difference that places the onus on the eater. And it is surprisingly common for London restaurants to request that you come and take away your own bloody food, thank you very much. Or to inform you imperiously that they will deliver only if you spend twenty quid or more. In New York, a boy will bring a single burrito to your door. That must be why so many writers live here – the only other place you get food delivery like that is at MacDowell.

š’”‡••‹‰––‹–—†‡• We use language not just to refer to facts, but also to express attitudes and beliefs. Sometimes we express attitudes quite explicitly, for example if we say I love you or I think this film is terrible. In other cases the expression of attitudes may be more hidden, but still present in the ways that we describe people, things and situations. The following text was written by an American teenager in 2020. It appears as a conclusion to a review of various social media platforms. What expressions are used to reveal opinions and attitudes?

Among the explicit means of expressing attitude in this text, we can note the following: •

• •

Overall, I admit that I find myself drawn to using Instagram more than other social media platforms. I know that many young people use Snapchat the most, but I find it too temporary with the disappearing photos and messages. If I forget to save a message and someone replies, so I open their message and see “Yes, that’s fine”, I have no recollection of what I asked and it’s frustrating for all involved. In my opinion the popularity of both Instagram and Snapchat is down to their focus on sharing visual elements such as photos and videos. The concept of stories which appear on both of these apps is very appealing to the majority of young audiences due to their simplicity and short 24 hour life (leaving no lasting mark and room for regret!) along with the integrated photo sharing and messaging aspects. They are good all-rounders as platforms and cover all aspects of what teenagers want in a social media site. The less popular social media are used less due to their fundamental flaws which make teenagers lose interest: Facebook has become increasingly unappealing to the younger generation with the community of older users growing, and Tumblr is focused on a narrow group of individuals. I never found either of these platforms hugely enticing for these reasons.


The pronoun I with a verb that refers to emotions, for example I admit and I find. In other texts we may see even more direct evaluations such as I love/recommend or I hate/advise against. The expression in my opinion. Alternatives might be in my view, as I see it, as far as I am concerned. Evaluative adjectives such as frustrating, (un-)appealing, good and enticing. Nouns that mean something positive (popularity, simplicity) or negative ( flaw). Words that emphasise the evaluative meaning of nouns and adjectives, for example fundamental flaw, too temporary, hugely enticing.

Descriptions can also be subjective because of the context they occur in. For example, the first description of Snapchat in the text above seems rather similar to that of Snapchat stories, since both refer to the fact that photos and videos only remain visible for a limited time. However, the first time, this is seen as negative and the second time as positive. The clues are in the phrases used to introduce the descriptions: I find it too temporary with the disappearing photos and messages and appealing … due to their simplicity and short 24 hour life. So in the first case the negativity of too temporary rubs off on the disappearing photos, and in the second, the positivity of appealing and simplicity colours how we interpret their short 24 hour life. In the last paragraph of the text, two groups of people are described in a negative light, namely older users and narrow group of individuals. The words used about these groups are in themselves neutral, so the negative perspective comes from the fact that these people are the reason why the writer dislikes Facebook

Šƒ’–‡”śėCommunication and Culture


and Tumblr. To sum up, some words are positive or negative in themselves, while others can be interpreted as positive or negative because of the context they occur in. The following common techniques for expressing attitude and perspective do not appear in the above social media platform review: – Modal verbs (e.g. can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would) for making recommendations. For example My friend should study more expresses the view of the writer. The perspective is subtly changed if we say instead My friend needs to study more. Then we focus more on the friend’s needs than on the speaker’s opinion. – Modal verbs for making our statements less absolute. The sentence Facebook has become less relevant for teens (with no modal verb) expresses certainty. With a modal, however, the sentences leaves room for doubt and alternative views: Facebook may have become less relevant for teens. – Adverbs such as maybe, of course, probably and generally have similar meanings to


modal verbs and can be used for making a statement less absolute, for example Facebook has probably become less relevant for teens. Leaving room for doubt – and for different opinions – by using modal adverbs and similar expressions is a way of expressing attitudes without imposing on the reader or hearer. Adverbs and phrases such as sadly, importantly, fortunately, to my surprise and as expected express the sender’s opinion directly. Expressions with it is/was + an adjective are a common way of expressing attitude, for example It is nice/terrible/interesting/ important to listen to this story. Expressions with it is/was + evaluative noun have the same functions, for example It is a pleasure to be here. It is no shock that there are drama queens on Facebook.

Note, however, that we can express attitudes without much explicit marking. In a review (see p. 293) or an opinion piece (see p. 208), the context makes it obvious that we are presented with the writer’s opinion. So for instance the sentence They are good all-rounders as platforms will be understood as the writer’s point of view, even if it lacks phrases such as I think or in my opinion. ƒ‹’‘‹–• – Many types of linguistic expressions can express attitudes, for example the pronouns I/we before an evaluative verb (I like/ admire) or evaluative adjectives and adverbs (nice, awful, sensibly). – Modal verbs and adverbs with modal meanings are used for making recommendations and for making statements less absolute. – Some words are positive or negative in themselves, while others can be interpreted as positive or negative because of the context they occur in. – In a text that is expected to express attitudes (e.g. reviews and opinion pieces), opinions and evaluations are understood to come from the speaker/writer even without expressions such as I think or in my opinion.



          ĕ       ė –

develop strategies for evaluating and using sources of information critically

reflect on the use and impact of English as a global language

use knowledge of sentence building and text cohesion to improve language skills

develop awareness of social media and traditional media as text genres and channels of communication

reflect on the importance of reliable information to ensure a democratic society Šƒ’–‡”ŚėThe World Awaits



‘—†ƒ–‹‘•ė In Search of a Common Ground



Read the statements below: – In one case, it was reported that two wolves killed 10 sheep in a single night. – Clearly, there is now a need to get rid of all the wolves in this region. Which statement is a fact, and which one expresses an opinion? How can you tell the difference?

– – – – – –

critical thinking alternative facts / post-truth fake news social media fact versus opinion soft power

Critical Thinking and Language inauguration innsettelse, tiltredelse / innsetjing, tiltreding unsustainable uholdbar / uhaldbar

Ž–‡”ƒ–‹˜‡ˆƒ…–• On the morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2016, Sean Spicer, the new White House press secretary, called a special press conference and insisted that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”. The crowd in photographs of Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration looked larger, he claimed, because of new white floor coverings laid on the National Mall that had the effect of “highlighting areas where people were not standing, while in years past, the grass eliminated this visual”. As angry as Spicer and his boss might be, their position was hilariously unsustainable. It fell to Kellyanne Conway, senior aide to the president, to find some way of explaining the photographic evidence. On NBC’s Meet the Press the next day, Conway told Chuck Todd that there was a perfectly reasonable explanation: “Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood [...] Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.” (Adapted from d'Ancona, 2017)



“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” daniel patrick moynihan, as cited in weism an, 2012, p. 2

In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as Word of the Year. The Danish – and Norwegian – word “hygge” was on the shortlist that same year, but did not quite make the grade, understandably, perhaps. After all, “hygge” did not exactly sum up the mood of a year when the world seemed to be slipping into a post-truth reality where public opinion was shaped more by feelings and personal beliefs than objective facts. In the text on the preceding page, the “alternative facts” were most likely a result of Donald Trump’s wish to have as large a crowd as possible – and certainly a larger one than President Barack Obama’s in 2009. However hilarious the notion of “alternative facts” might seem, it is a sign of dangerous times when the very idea of “truth” seems increasingly under threat. Instead of looking for evidence as historians and scientists do, some people find support for their own beliefs from fake news from unreliable online sources. The most serious consequence of ignoring facts, such as denying the Holocaust or insisting that legal elections are rigged, is the increasing mistrust it creates among people. In turn it may lead to more hostility in local communities, turning neighbour against neighbour. But it can evidently also result in protests and violence.

to be entitled to å ha rett til rigged manipulert, fikset / manipulert, fiksa hostility fiendskap, fiendtlig innstilling / fiendskap, fiendtleg innstilling

Fake news is false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke. (Cambridge Dictionary)

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion


 a What is a post-truth reality? b What is fake news? c Why is it important that you think critically about texts you encounter?

to enable å sette i stand til, å muliggjøre / å setje i stand til, å gjere mogleg provider tilbyder, en som sørger for noe / tilbydar, ein som sørgjer for noko accessible tilgjengelig, lett å forstå / tilgjengeleg, lett å forstå

Students at Jiyan Middle School in China shout out English words they repeat after Li Yang. He is the creator of Crazy English, a method of learning English that can be described with the quote: "By shouting out loud, you learn".


This makes critical thinking one of the most important skills we can learn today. A key element in that skill is the ability to evaluate information and distinguish between fact and opinion. This difference is not always clearcut, but generally facts can be backed by evidence from the real world and documentation from reliable sources. Opinion, on the other hand, is what a person believes or thinks about something. We all have opinions on just about everything, and these opinions can be reasonable and based on facts. However, opinions can also be based on fake information that seems to be real because it is shared online by many people. Those websites and applications that enable us to take part in social networking – the social media – have created many opportunities, but they have also made it more difficult to tell truth from fiction. ‰Ž‹•Š†‘‹ƒ–‹‘ Information is often shared in English, which makes English language skills an important basis for learning and critical thinking all over the world. It is estimated that almost 900 million people use English as a second or foreign language today (see table on p. 20). In addition, there are the people who have English as their first language – almost 370 million in all. This makes English a global language – or a lingua franca – for anyone who needs a shared language of communication. English was established as a major language during the rule of the British Empire, when Britain did business with its colonies and other countries (see p. 17). But this cannot fully explain why businesspeople, gamers, news providers and social media users use English as a shared language today. One factor is that English is quite accessible for speakers of many other European languages, having borrowed heavily from Latin, Greek and French. However, more important is the economic and cultural influence of Britain and the United States over several centuries.

    ė Before reading Give an example of an artist or a group from a non-English-speaking country that sings in English. What difference would it have made if English had not been used – for you as a listener and for the popularity of the artist/group? Share a song in English that you like. Have you noticed what the lyrics are about?

Emmy the Great on stage.

ġ –Ġ•–‹‡–‘”‡–‹”‡ ‰Ž‹•Šƒ•’‘’Ġ• Ž‹‰—ƒˆ”ƒ…ƒĢ By Emma-Lee Moss The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Emmy the Great – or Emma-Lee Moss – asks why more and more musicians, from Gwenno Saunders to Maria Usbeck, are turning to their first languages for their lyrics. Last year, I released two music videos for the same song – one in English, the other in Mandarin. After a decade as a singer-songwriter, it was my first time releasing music in Chinese. Two of my fellow multilingual musicians had embarked on similar journeys. Two years ago, Gwenno Saunders, who began her career in the Pipettes, released her debut solo album made up of songs written and performed in her first languages, Welsh and Cornish. Meanwhile Maria Usbeck, formerly of the band Selebrities, was recording

to retire å pensjonere multilingual flerspråklig / fleirspråkleg to embark on å sette i gang med, å slå inn på / å setje i gang med, å slå inn på

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion


to emerge å dukke opp, å vise seg immersive oppslukende, engasjerende / oppslukande, engasjerande to spark å utløse, å sette i gang / å utløyse, å setje i gang to preserve å ta vare på, å bevare to prevail against å seire over / å sigre over to decipher å tyde, å tolke unpredictable uforutsigbar / uføreseieleg to bypass å omgå, å gå utenom / å omgå, å gå utanom to pander å appellere til vessel redskap / reiskap sentiment følelse, stemning / kjensle, stemning


Amparo, an album composed in a variety of minority languages from Spanish-speaking nations. Both artists had emerged on their respective scenes by performing their music in English, but, like me, spoke a different language to their mothers. Hearing their albums, each immersive and moving in its own way, I wanted to understand the reasons for our similar decisions, and the sense of change that came with them. The history of pop is dominated by the English language. In every generation since Abba, the best-known musicians from non-English-speaking countries have achieved consistent global success by singing in the language of the US market, the largest in the world. Some, such as Phoenix’s Tomas Mars, call it a creative decision: “Even if it is not my first language I feel there are more unexplored territories thinking in French and writing in English, than to write in French,” he said. Others, such as Robyn, say they are driven by pragmatism: “I think [singing in] a language that’s only spoken by 8 million people … ” she said about her native Swedish, “I don’t know if that’s what you want to be doing.” A turning point for Usbeck was the moment when, as a child in Ecuador, she heard the Colombian pop star Shakira singing in English for the first time. “I remember being a kid and thinking, ‘Why would she do this? Why would she dye her hair blonde?’ Now I know it was for money.” Usbeck’s first songs were written in English with her American bandmate. Her return to Spanish was inspired by memories of Ecuador, where she would often mix indigenous Quechua in her everyday speech. These sparked what she describes as a “deep need”, not only to record in Spanish, but also to preserve minority tongues in Spanish-speaking countries. Gwenno’s Y Dydd Olaf, which won the Welsh Music prize, is inspired by a 1970s sci-fi novel by Owain Owain, in which a hero prevails against robotic overlords by speaking Welsh, a dying language that his enemies cannot decipher. She makes the comparison between globalisation and the “robotic control of the masses” predicted by Owain. “A language dies every two weeks,” she explains, “and with that language dies a whole history of people. Those are things that connect you with the past. They are man and woman’s way of communicating and telling stories.” Do musicians in today’s world, where the industry is unpredictable and the internet offers an opportunity to bypass mainstream media, still need to pander to a particular market? Perhaps it’s time to retire English as pop’s lingua franca. “There’s so much out there, and it’s all so special,” says Usbeck. “Meanwhile, new generations are creating languages – think about how texting has changed the way people speak.” Rather than spread the dominance of a single language, music could be a vessel with which we explore and protect many dialects, new and old. For the three of us, the process of singing in our “home” languages has uncovered sentiments and flavours that would not have existed in English. As a listener, you do not need to understand the words to feel these shifts. Music, after all, is itself a language. “If you can only sing in English, fantastic,” adds Gwenno, “but if you can sing in another language, do that.” As social media render our daily lives noisier than ever, we are becoming firmer in our desires to be ourselves. Gwenno agrees: “We’re communicating all the time but nobody wants to be the same, and we know that the world is a better place when we’re all different.”


b What would it be like if all artists used their native language, for example in the Eurovision Song Contest? Is it possible to capture the interest of people all around the world when not singing in English?

a List all the arguments for using one’s first language in lyrics mentioned in this text.

b Who, in addition to the author, argues in favour of singing in one’s first language?


What arguments in favour of using English can be found in the text?

d Which people are quoted to present these


Emma-Lee Moss claims that using your own language is a good thing because diversity – or being different – is positive. What are some of the advantages of preserving as many languages and as much diversity as possible?


d It is claimed in the text that music is a lan-

ś Ĩ      a Discuss the following quotes: “… if you can sing in another language [than English], do that.” “We’re communicating all the time but nobody wants to be the same, and we know that the world is a better place when we’re all different.” Do you agree? Why / Why not?

guage in itself, which suggests that you do not need to understand the words to enjoy the music. Do you agree? Discuss examples of songs that mean a lot to you just because of the lyrics. What would be lost if you did not understand these lyrics?

ŜĨ      Discuss in groups what type of strategy you would choose if you were an artist with an opportunity for an international breakthrough. What language would you choose and what variety of that language? What is your choice of genre? How can you use social media to market yourself and your music? Write down your breakthrough plan in a few major steps.

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion


ŝ Ĩ      ė Critical thinking a In the text, Maria Usbeck claims to know why Shakira sings in English and dyes her hair: “Now I know it was for money”. It is presented as a fact, but is there any evidence? Analyse and comment on this statement by using the who questions on page 140.

b Write a paragraph that sums up your answers to the following questions: – What are the main sources of the information? – What is the perspective of the writer? What values and beliefs does she express? – Would it be possible to take a different perspective? What would be the consequences of that for the arguments presented? – Why should people be aware of this problem? – How do we know that the text is based on facts?


Ş Ĩ     ė Song lyrics Write a poem of six to ten lines which might be used as song lyrics. Choose one of these themes: – Secrets and lies – Fake people – I heard a rumour – My facts – your opinions The first and second line of the poem should rhyme, then the third and fourth, etc. (That is, the rhyme scheme should be A-A, B-B, C-C …)

şĨ      a Check the global charts for Spotify and YouTube. What is the percentage of English and non-English hits?

b Create a top-10 list of songs from a playlist you have made.


Make a combined top-10 list for the whole class. What is the percentage of English and non-English hits?

Scene from the documentary The Social Dilemma.

Š‡‘…‹ƒŽ ‹Ž‡ƒ The Social Dilemma is a documentary from 2020 that explores how social media affect our mental health, our relationships to those around us, and our democracy. The film features interviews with media and tech insiders who talk about the harmful nature of the technology they helped design. Šƒ–‹•ƒ†‘…—‡–ƒ”›ĝ A documentary film aims to present some aspect of the real world, past or present. As a genre it shares characteristics with both the news report and the feature film. Like the news report it combines camera observation, interviews and narration and is often conflict-oriented. But a documentary is longer and usually has the overt aim of expressing either an opinion on an issue or a particular interpretation of facts. It differs from a feature film in that it is nonfictional, uses real figures rather than actors (except in special circumstances) and is not primarily intended as entertainment. However, documentaries share many of the same aims as feature films: they aim to tell a story, keep our attention and engage our intellect and emotions. To achieve this, they use many of the same methods and techniques: they can “play” with the chronology of events in order to build suspense, they can use the camera to give a particular perspective or create a particular mood, and they can use music or other sound effects to underscore the visual imagery.

Note: The following words are important to know and understand before watching the film: insider, hoard, demographic, manipulation, imperceptible, receptive, polarisation, extreme, align, earnest, wilful

narration fortelling, skildring / forteljing, skildring overt åpen(bar)/open(berr) suspense spenning mood stemning

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion


Š‡…Ž‹•–ˆ‘”ƒƒŽ›•‹‰†‘…—‡–ƒ”‹‡• 1) Who made the film, and which organisation is behind it? 2) What is the film about, and what aspect of the subject matter does the film focus on? 3) When was the film made in relation to the events and issues it refers to? 4) What is the intention of the film? 5) Does the film take sides on an issue? 6) What sort of audience is the film aimed at? 7) Whose voices/views are heard in the film? Whose are not? 8) What methods does the filmmaker use to get the message across? (e.g. interview, reconstruction/dramatisation, commentary, observation, etc.) intention hensikt, formål credible troverdig/truverdig

9) Does the film deal with facts or opinions? 10) What sources does the film rely on? Are they credible?


Scene from The Social Dilemma.

ŚĨ     ė Initial response Sit together in pairs or small groups and discuss the following questions:

a What is your initial response to the film? Did you find it interesting, boring, funny, confusing …? Give reasons for your answer.

b Go through the checklist on the previous


As viewers we are very quickly introduced to many people who have worked in the tech industry. Why do you think the filmmakers chose to present us with these short introductions? What effect do they have?

d How do the filmmakers present the subject matter of the film? Consider the use of music, lighting, editing, etc.

page and discuss these points in connection with the film.

ś Ĩ     

ŜĨ    ė Discussion

Watch the first three and a half minutes of the film, until the opening credits begin. These first few minutes try to hook the viewers and give a direction for the rest of the film.

a The filmmakers chose to include a drama-

a What is the purpose of the quote by

b The film interviews only people who have

Sophocles shown at the beginning of the film? (“Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.”)

b How would you describe the music that is playing at the beginning of the film? What effect does it have on the viewer?

tised storyline of a family with three children. Why do you think they did so, and was it successful in your opinion?

previously worked in the industry, and there is hardly any mention of the users of social media or the people currently working in the industry. How does this affect the points the filmmakers are trying to make? Do you think this was a wise choice by the filmmakers?

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion



Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg only appears in the film through archive footage, and Google founder Larry Page and other founders of social media platforms are only mentioned in passing. How does this influence the credibility of the film?

Fact-checking the sources of an article before you share it

Making an effort to read news from different points of view

Not allowing children to use social media until 16 years of age

Working out a time budget with children about how many hours they can spend online

d In the film, Sandy Parakilas claims that “[w]e’ve created a system that biases towards false information. Not because we want to, but because false information makes the companies more money than the truth. The truth is boring.” Why can companies make more money from false information?

ŝ Ĩ      

şĨ     ė Writing a Write a text where you discuss the follow-

Work in pairs. Point to examples from the film in your explanations.

a Explain how the film addresses mental

ing statement: “Our world would be much better without social media.”

b Go to interactions.cdu.no to find links to

health issues.

other documentaries. Choose one that you think looks interesting, view it and write a review of it for a film magazine. Your review should, of course, explain the subject matter and message of the film, but also include an analysis and an evaluation of methods the film uses. (You may find the checklist on p. 200 useful, but do not use it as a template for the review.)

b Explain how the film presents social media as a threat to democracy.


Explain the title of the film. What is the dilemma the film is addressing?

Ş Ĩ     ė Your own choices At the end of the movie, the experts give the following list of recommendations. Are you willing to follow these?


E X PLOR E Grammar: Prepositions

Recognising the current problems and discussing them openly

Uninstalling apps that waste time

Prepositions are everywhere in a language, and everywhere they cause problems for learners. Look at the following sentences and decide which prepositions you would use to complete them:

Turning off notifications

Using a search engine that doesn’t store search history instead of Google

Putting more regulations on tech companies and taxing data assets to discourage companies from mining personal data

Go to interactions.cdu.no to learn more about prepositions and work with tasks.

I watched The Social Dilemma … Sara’s house … Thursday … school. Documentaries often focus … problematic issues … society.

   ė Before reading Have you watched videos online of supernatural events or people with supernatural powers? Why do you think such videos spread so easily on the internet?

The Prophet By Alexander Weinstein

We all felt the same way when we heard about The Prophet: skeptical, jaded, a stirring which longed to become awe. We wanted to know whether it was really true. Had he actually taught a group of fifty in Flagstaff to levitate? If so, where was the proof? And when he did it again, this time fully recorded and posted online, we studied the YouTube clip like forensic scientists. The comment section was filled with naysayers, and yet, in all caps with exclamation marks, user after user attested to witnessing the miracle. I WAS THERE!!! HE HAS ARRIVED!!!! We shook our heads. It was smoke and mirrors, we told one another, trick photography; you could do anything with a Mac. We doubted our doubts. After all, we were ripe for this. Many of us had spent nights, pondering the universe, high on medicinal-grade marijuana. We were yogic radicals, weekend ayahuasceros, freethinkers who gave UFOs a second chance, and we prized our transcendental moments from meditation retreats and self-empowerment seminars, collecting our small illuminations like keepsakes. We’d longed for this, coveted it, but now, in the light of a living prophet who was teaching people to transmit electricity through their third eyes, we were hesitant. Then he began appearing in even our most skeptical friends’ Facebook feeds. WATCH THIS VIDEO! And there, atop a rock in Sedona, along with the collected crew, he merged with the universe, his body disappearing for a

jaded lei, desillusjonert awe ærefrykt to levitate å sveve forensic scientist kriminalteknisk spesialist naysayer negativ person ripe moden to ponder å gruble, å spekulere ayahuascero en som bruker urter som inneholder hallusinogener / ein som bruker urter som inneheld hallusinogen to prize å verdsette, å sette pris på / å verdsetje, å setje pris på transcendental opphøyd, oversanselig / opphøgd, oversanseleg keepsake souvenir

Šƒ’–‡”ŜėFact, Fiction and Opinion


indecipherable uforståelig / uforståeleg murmur mumling enlightenment innsikt, opplysning cul-de-sac blindvei / blindveg devotee ivrig tilhenger / ivrig tilhengar PortoPotty mobilt toalett sage salvie


full eight seconds before rematerializing. We watched the slightly crooked iPhone recording, the prophet’s voice an indecipherable murmur, the electromagnetic crackling on the phone, and suddenly the rocks were empty and the videographer was saying holy shit for eight seconds before the group returned, seated in lotus, as solid as pre-transcendence. We had to witness it for ourselves. We took paid vacations, left jobs, closed the coffee shops where we worked, found babysitters for the week or, remembering our sunbaked dreams of youth, took the kids with us (why shouldn’t they experience enlightenment?) and loaded up our Subaru wagons, leaving the cul-de-sacs where our dreams of nirvana had given way to Netflix. They’d already built the amphitheater by the time we arrived: a fifteen-acre clearing amid the foothills. Someone had trucked in a generator, another had donated microphones, and a devotee who owned a sanitation company had donated over a hundred PortoPotties. We crammed into the clearing, side by side, unfolding yoga mats and placing meditation cushions beneath us, burning sage and drinking from BPA-free bottles as we listened.



          ĕ       ė –

gain insight into and reflect on current social, cultural and political issues in English-speaking countries

exercise critical thinking in relation to texts on social, cultural and political issues

gain insight into the connection between democracy, citizenship and the rights and duties of the individual in the context of the English-speaking world

learn how to recognise and use language features of speeches, argumentative texts and reviews

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


    Look at the title of the text below. What does it mean to be grateful – and ungrateful? What do you think the text is going to be about?

The Ungrateful Refugee By Dina Nayeri Dina Nayeri grew up in in Iran. She and her family spent a brief, and for Dina, rather unhappy spell in London in the 1980s where she experienced racism and bullying for the first time from boys in her class, injuring her finger in a confrontation with them. When the family returned to Iran, Dina’s mother was threatened with execution for having converted to Christianity and the family became asylum seekers, spending two years in refugee hostels in Dubai and Rome.

spell periode execution henrettelse / avretting to mock å gjøre narr av, å herme etter / å gjere narr av, å herme etter guttural strupelyd phlegm slim


When I was ten, we were accepted by the United States and sent to Oklahoma, just as the first Gulf War began. By the time of our arrival in the American south, the nail on my pinkie had grown back, my hair was long, and I was (according to my mother) pretty and funny and smart. The first thing I heard from my classmates, however, was a strange “ching-chongese” intended to mock my accent. I remember being confused, not at their cruelty, but at their choice of insult. A dash of racism I had expected – but I wasn’t Chinese; were these children wholly ignorant to the shape of the world outside America? If you want to mock me, I wanted to say, dig down to the guttural khs and ghs, produce some phlegm, make a camel joke; don’t

“chingchong” at me, you mouth-breather. (See? I had learned their native insults well enough.) Of course, I didn’t say that. And I didn’t respond when they started in on the cat-eating and the foot-binding. I took these stories home and my mother and I laughed over chickpea cookies and cardamom tea – fragrant foods they might have mocked if only they knew. By then it was clear to me that these kids had met one foreigner before, and that unfortunate person hailed from southeast Asia. I needn’t have worried, though; the geographically correct jokes were coming. Like the boys in London, these kids soon spoke to their parents, and within weeks, they had their “turban jockeys” and their “camel-fuckers” loaded and ready to go. Meanwhile, I was battling with my teacher over a papier-mache topographical map of the United States, a frustrating task that was strangely central to her concerns about my American assimilation. When I tried to explain to her that only a few months before I had lived with refugees outside Rome, and that most of the social studies work baffled me, she looked at me sleepily and said: “Awww, sweetie, you must be so grateful to be here.” Grateful. There was that word again. Here I began to notice the pattern. This word had already come up a lot in my childhood, but in her mouth it lost its goodness. It hinted and threatened. Afraid for my future, I decided that everyone was right: if I failed to stir up in myself enough gratefulness, or if I failed to properly display it, I would lose all that I had gained, this western freedom, the promise of secular schools and uncensored books. The children were merciless in their teasing, and soon I developed a tic in my neck. Other odd behaviours followed. Each time something bad happened, I would repeat a private mantra, the formula I believed was the reason for my luck so far, and my ticket to a second escape – maybe even a life I would actually enjoy. I said it again and again in my head, and sometimes accidentally aloud: I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I’m the smartest in my class. I’m lucky. I’m grateful. I’m the smartest in my class. That last sentiment (which I did a poor job of hiding) didn’t go over too well. What right did I, a silly Iranian, have to think I was better than anyone? Still, my mother suffered more. In Iran, she had been a doctor. Now she worked in a pharmaceuticals factory, where her bosses and co-workers daily questioned her intelligence, though they had a quarter of her education. The accent was enough. If she took too long to articulate a thought, they stopped listening and wrote her off as unintelligent. They sped up their speech and, when she asked them to slow down, they sighed and rolled their eyes. If someone messed up a formula, she was the sole target for blame. The hate did eventually wane; some would say that that’s the natural cycle of things. We assimilated. No longer dark strangers from war-torn lands, at some point we stopped frightening them. We went to work, to school, to church. We grew familiar, safe, no longer the outsiders. I don’t believe in that explanation. What actually happened was that we learned what they wanted, the hidden switch to make them stop simmering. After all, these Americans had never thought we were terrorists or

fragrant velluktende, duftende / velluktande, duftande assimilation tilpassing, innpass i en (majoritets)kultur, assimilering / tilpassing, innpass i ein (majoritets)kultur, assimilering to baffle å forvirre, å forbløffe secular ikke-religiøs, verdslig, sekulær / ikkje-religiøs, verdsleg, sekulær sentiment oppfatning, mening / oppfatning, meining pharmaceuticals legemiddel-, farmasøytisk to articulate å formulere, å artikulere formula oppskrift, formel sole eneste / einaste to wane å avta, å bli svakere / å minke, å bli svakare

 a How did Dina Nayeri end up in the United States? b What did she find most irritating about the first racism she was subjected to at school? c How did she react to the teacher’s suggestion that she must be grateful?

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


     In Norway, people seeking to become naturalised Norwegian citizens have to sit a test to prove that they are familiar with Norwegian history, culture and society.

a Working on your own, write ten questions that you think a Norwegian citizenship test should contain.

b Then move into small groups and agree on the best ten questions.


Join up with another group and test each other on the questions you have agreed on.

‘™ ‡…ƒ‡ ƒ”‹– By Bill Bryson

womb livmor proficiency kompetanse life peerage livsvarig medlemskap i Overhuset (House of Lords)


For a long time, there were two ways to become a British citizen. The first, the trickier but paradoxically much the more common method, was to find your way into a British womb and wait for nine months. The other way was to fill out some forms and swear an oath. Since 2005, however, people in the second category have additionally had to demonstrate proficiency in English and pass a knowledge test. I was excused the language test because English is my native tongue, but no one is excused the knowledge test, and it’s tough. No matter how well you think you know Britain, you don’t know the things you need to know to pass the Life in Britain Knowledge Test. You need to know, for instance, who Sake Dean Mahomet was. (He was the man who introduced shampoo to Britain. Honestly.) You need to know by what other name the 1944 Education Act is known. (The Butler Act.) You need to know when life peerages were created (1958) and in what year the maximum length of a working day for women and children was reduced


‡”•’‡…–‹˜‡•ė The Individual and the System



“It is not always the same to be a good man and a good citizen,” said the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Can you think of situations where these two things might come into conflict? What makes for a good citizen? What sort of behaviour and what personal qualities in an individual are most beneficial for society? Sit in groups of 3-4 and together brainstorm a description of “a good citizen”.

– – – – –

“good citizens” vs “bad citizens” distribution of power political processes civil disobedience popular movements

Making a Stand It is likely that one of the adjectives that featured on your list in the pre-reading task above was “law-abiding”. One of the prime responsibilities of a citizen – and indeed a non-citizen – is to abide by the law of the land. It is a paradox then that most of the citizens’ rights we take for granted today were achieved, at least partly, by doing exactly the opposite – by breaking the law, either through active rebellion or through civil disobedience.

‘‘†…‹–‹œ‡•ĩ„ƒ†…‹–‹œ‡•ĝ Think of the rebellion of 1791 on the island of Saint Domingue in the Caribbean when African slaves rose up against their French masters and succeeded in establishing the new republic of Haiti, thus inspiring similar slave revolts in other parts of the Caribbean and in the United States. Think of the six farm labourers from the tiny village of Tolpuddle in South-West England who in 1834 were convicted of illegally swearing an oath of allegiance to the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. They were punished with transportation and forced labour in Australia, and have since have become known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, pioneers of the right of workers to belong to a trade union. Think of the Suffragettes, that group of women activists who in the first decade of the 20th Century suffered prison, hunger strikes, forced feeding

to abide by å overholde, å rette seg etter / å overhalde, å rette seg etter to take for granted å ta for gitt civil disobedience sivil ulydighet / sivil ulydnad forced labour tvangsarbeid trade union fagforening / fagforeining

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


    There is now a consensus among scientists that man-made climate change is a reality that threatens us all, and that tackling the climate crisis will require drastic action. Would you be willing to break the law to combat climate change? Discuss in pairs or groups.

š–‹…–‹‘ ‡„‡ŽŽ‹‘

 Ě                 Ě    ĝ

Extinction Rebellion protesters blocking the traffic in London.


The global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) first saw the light of day in the UK in 2018. Their aim is to draw attention to dangers posed by climate change. This is not controversial in itself, but what makes XR stand out from most other environmental organisations are the methods they use and their willingness to break the law. Londoners experienced this first-hand in April 2019 when they found several key junctions in Central London, including Oxford Circus, blocked and occupied by XR activists. These demonstrations brought Central London to a virtual standstill, causing huge delays in public transport. They continued in various parts of the city for eleven days, with demonstrators refusing to heed police warnings to move on, many of them gluing themselves to the pavement, lampposts and trees. Over 1000 arrests were made. Even more controversial was XR’s demonstration in September the following year when they blocked access to printing presses used by several of the UK’s largest newspapers, preventing them from being distributed. This protest, intended to draw attention to what they see as the mainstream media’s refusal to give environmental issues the focus they deserve, was widely condemned by the press and the political establishment. XR’s methods are far from new, and they openly acknowledge their inspiration from earlier non-violent protest movements like the Suffragettes, Mahatma Gandhi’s campaign for Indian independence and the American civil rights movement. Such methods can be spectacularly effective, stretching law enforcement resources to breaking point and maintaining a moral ascendancy the violent protest quickly loses. But do they have any place in a democracy where laws are determined by freely elected governments? The following three texts were written in response to XR's demonstrations in August 2020 and reflect the widely different reactions to them. The first is a report on the events by a journalist from the left-leaning British newspaper the Guardian. The second is a video message delivered by actor and TV celebrity Stephen Fry, one of many celebrities, artists and writers who gave their support to the movement and its methods. Finally, there is a piece of editorial comment from the right-leaning newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

junction knutepunkt to heed å ta hensyn til / å ta omsyn til to prevent å (for)hindre condemned fordømt ascendancy overtak, overlegenhet / overtak, overlegenheit editorial (comment) leder, lederartikkel / leiar, leiarartikkel

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


    How would you act if you wanted to bring public attention to a cause or issue you are involved in? In pairs, rank the following options from 1–7, where 1 means that you believe this is the method you are most likely to use, and 7 means that that this a method you would never use. – Using the traditional media: for example, contacting a journalist to get the story out to the people. – Using social media: for example, starting a blog, setting up a website or creating a campaign on a social network. – Demonstrating directly, for example, sitting down in front of the parliament building. – Organising boycotts: for example, telling people not to buy the goods of a company until it changes its policy. – Making petitions: getting people to sign their names to support a cause. – Helping directly: for example, helping to clean up the shoreline after an oil spill. – Influencing the authorities: contacting politicians and public officials directly (lobbying).

Young Activists Activism comes in many different forms and in connection with many different issues. What all activism has in common is the belief that individual actions can make a difference. So how do young people today engage in the world to make it a better place? Go to interactions.cdu.no to find two listening texts. The first one is about the ways in which your generation make use of social media to raise awareness of important issues. In the second listening text, you will meet three young activists: Millie from Australia, Gerry from the USA and John from New Zealand.


    Look at the photos below and on the previous page. How do you react to these images? How do you think they relate to the title “Democracy under Siege”?

‡‘…”ƒ…› —†‡”‹‡‰‡ Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


This image and those on the two preceding pages show pro-Trump protesters breaking into the Capitol buildings in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.

under siege beleiret, omringet / omringa, kringsett rioter bråkmaker, urostifter, opprører / bråkmakar, urostiftar, opprørar indelible uutslettelig / uutsletteleg to revel in å nyte, å fråtse i, å velte seg i euphoria opprømthet, eufori / det å vere opprømt, eufori uprising opprør assault angrep insurrection opprør, oppstand, revolt


On the 6th January 2021 the American public witnessed scenes on their televisions and newsfeeds that they could hardly believe: hordes of flag-waving, banner-carrying rioters, some armed, many in combat gear, storming through security barriers, pushing aside police and security guards and forcing their way into the hallowed halls of American democracy, the US Capitol building in Washington. The images of this extraordinary event will be indelibly imprinted in the minds of Americans for years to come: a man with a Confederate flag striding towards the entrance of the Senate, the Capitol police with their guns drawn facing doors to the House chamber under attack from rioters, another man grinning as he sits with his feet on the table in the office of the US House speaker, the “QAnon Shaman” in fur headdress and war paint revelling in the chaotic euphoria of the moment. Scenes like these were familiar enough from elsewhere in the world – from developing countries with unstable democracies or dictatorships overthrown by popular uprisings. But in America? Never! What made this spectacle even more shocking was that this was not some random demonstration that got out of hand. This was a planned, if chaotic, assault that took place with what many interpreted as the blessing and encouragement of the US President. How had it come to this? What was happening to America? How had a country that for many people around the world was a democratic ideal, a shining example of the rule of law, fallen victim to armed insurrection? These are not easy questions to answer. To do so we must take both the long view and the short view.

—’”‡•‹†‡–‹ƒŽ’”‡•‹†‡– In the short term, the events of 6th January, though shocking, were to a large extent foreseeable. This was the day when the result of November 2020’s presidential election was to be finally confirmed. This is usually a purely formal and rather boring ceremony. But this had not been an ordinary election. The incumbent president, Donald Trump, had contested the election even before it took place, forecasting months before that there could only be two outcomes – a landslide win for him or a rigged election. When the result went against him, he refused to accept it, claiming fraud. In regular tweets he repeated these claims, without presenting any credible evidence, promising his supporters that unless the election was declared invalid there would be protests at the confirmatory event on the 6th. “Be there,” he tweeted, “[it] will be wild!” Taking a slightly longer-term view, we could say that the storming of Capitol Hill was simply the culmination of a presidency that had always been at odds with the usual rules of democracy. Trump’s dislike for the political establishment is well known, likewise his willingness to use inflammatory language (p. 276). Once president, he showed little interest in establishing good relations with other democratic leaders, often falling out with the leaders of Canada, France and Germany, but expressing admiration for the likes of Russian president Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte.

confirmed ratifisert, godkjent to contest å bestride (gyldigheten av noe) / å nekte for (at noko er gyldig) rigged manipulert fraud svindel, falsum invalid ugyldig culmination toppunkt, kulminasjon at odds with på kant med inflammatory provoserende, utfordrende / provoserande, utfordrande

 a What two events took place on January 6, 2021, one scheduled and one not? b What was Donald Trump’s response to the result of the presidential election in 2020?

What is satirical about this cartoon of Donald Trump from 2020?

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


President-elect Joe Biden, right, on stage with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, on the night of their election victory in November 2020.

unsubstantiated ikke underbygd, ubegrunnet / ikkje underbygd, ugrunna to cultivate å bruke, å dyrke averse utilbøyelig / utilbøyeleg mudslinging nedrakking, skittkasting deplorable bedrøvelig, elendig / stakkarsleg, elendig trench skyttergrav / skyttargrav impropriety uanstendighet / det uanstendige skullduggery skurkestrek, svindel tax evasion skattesnyteri skirmish trefning, kamp to heal å hele, å lege / å hele, å lækje to transcend å overskride

 a What is meant by the “post-truth era”? b What impact did the Trump presidency have on the Culture Wars? śšş

thrust of rumour, unsubstantiated accusations and even downright lies. In the election campaign, Trump cultivated the divisions of the Culture Wars, portraying his opponent and the political establishment in Washington D.C. as corrupt. His opponent in 2016, Hillary Clinton, was not averse to some divisive mudslinging herself during her campaign, referring to Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables”. In the four years of the Trump administration, the trenches of the Culture Wars only deepened. Critical media coverage of the president, including accusations of sexual impropriety, political skulduggery and tax evasion, were dismissed as “fake news” while conspiracy theories of sometimes mind-blowing creativity flourished on social media. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit America in 2020, it too became a battleground for more skirmishes in the Culture Wars, with science on one side and rumour and myth – often with presidential support – on the other. Some believed the virus had been engineered in a Chinese laboratory, others claimed that it was no worse than the ’flu and was best ignored, and others again were convinced that it was being used by Microsoft founder Bill Gates for his own profit. In his campaign for the Presidential Election of 2020, Joe Biden made it clear which side of the Culture Wars he belonged to, frequently referring to the importance of trusting science, both in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. He talked of the task of healing a divided nation and called his campaign “a battle for the soul of America”. These views were repeated in his inauguration speech on January 20, 2021. The chaotic scenes during the storming of the Capitol left many Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, feeling that the soul of America was indeed on the line. And here perhaps lies hope for the future. The forces that breached the barriers and broke the windows on Capitol Hill did not disappear with the inauguration of President Biden. But as a former president (Bill Clinton) once said, “There’s nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America.” The outrage these events caused stems from a common belief in certain values that transcend party politics. It is that common belief that President Biden will have to build on in his declared aim of healing America. The fate of America will depend on his success, and the success of future presidents, in achieving this aim.

ƒ…Ě ‰”‘—†


The following is an excerpt from an article by Kurt Andersen entitled “How America Lost Its Mind”: How widespread is the popular devotion to the untrue? How many Americans now inhabit alternate realities? Any given survey of beliefs is only a sketch of what people in general really think. But lots of survey research from the past 20 years reveals a rough, useful index of American naivety and delusion. By my reckoning, solidly reality-based persons are a minority – maybe a third of us, but almost certainly fewer than half. Only a third of us, for instance, don’t believe that the tale of creation in Genesis is the word of God. Only a third strongly disbelieve in telepathy and ghosts. Two-thirds of Americans believe that “angels and demons are active in the world”. More than half say they’re absolutely certain heaven exists, and just as many are sure of the existence of a personal God — not a vague force or universal spirit or higher power, but some guy. A third of us believe not only that global warming is no big deal, but that it’s a hoax perpetrated by scientists, the government, and journalists. A third believe that our earliest ancestors were humans just like us; that the government has, in league with the pharmaceutical industry, hidden evidence of natural cancer

cures; that extraterrestrials have visited or are visiting Earth. Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism. A quarter believe that former president Barack Obama maybe or definitely was (or is?) the anti-Christ. According to a survey by Public Policy Polling, 15 percent believe that the “media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals,” and another 15 percent think that’s possible. A quarter of Americans believe in witches. Remarkably, the same fraction, or maybe less, believes that the Bible consists mainly of legends and fables – the same proportion that believes U.S. officials were complicit in the 9/11 attacks. When I say “a third believe X and a quarter believe Y,” it’s important to understand that those are different thirds and quarters of the population. Of course, various fantasy groups overlap and feed one another – for instance, belief in extraterrestrial visitation and abduction can lead to belief in vast government cover-ups, which can lead to belief in still more wide-ranging plots and conspiracies, which can fit with a belief in a coming Armageddon. (Adapted. Source: see p. 374) Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society


Ŝ Ĩ      ė Vocabulary

E X PLOR E The Hill We Climb

a Consider the collocations from the text that are listed below. Working with a partner, make sure that you know what they all mean in the context they are used. hallowed halls, Confederate flag, the incumbent president, strained relationship, the bedrock of American society, inaugural ceremony, the protection of individual liberties, a blunt instrument, breach the barriers

At the inauguration of President Biden in January 2021, a young African American poet stole the show. On the steps of the Capitol, where only two weeks before protesters had gone on the rampage, Amanda Gorman (22) read her poem “The Hill We Climb” and brought a tear to the eye and lump to the throat of those present and many millions watching around the world. Go to interactions.cdu.no to read the poem, watch Gorman performing it and work with tasks.

b Then take a fresh look at the underlined words in the collocations. For each one, write down at least one other phrase or sentence where the word can be used.

ŝ Ĩ     ė American beliefs Kurt Andersen’s text on page 287 is an example of a polemic – that is, a written attack on something or someone that is intentionally provocative. Analyse how Andersen’s choice of language makes the excerpt a polemic rather than just a statement of opinion.

Ş Ĩ      ė Critical thinking a Which of the theories that Kurt Andersen makes fun of on page 287 would you say qualify as conspiracy theories? (See p. 188.)

b Which do not qualify, and why?

ş Ĩ      ė Writing It is the 22nd century. You are a historian looking back on the fate of the United States. Write a short text summing up what happened to the country in the 21st century. Use your imagination. Were there wars, floods, revolutions, successes, inventions, etc.? What is America’s position in the world “today”?

Amanda Gorman at the presidential inauguration in January 2021.

Šƒ’–‡”ŝėCitizenship and Society




          ĕ       ė –

learn to analyse and interpret literary texts

gain knowledge about society and culture in English-speaking countries through encounters with literary texts

develop your own written and oral skills by using appropriate language to reflect over, discuss and respond to literary texts

learn some of the analytic tools required to analyse film

learn about stylistic devices in texts Šƒ’–‡”ŞėBlinding Brigtht Lights


Go to interactions.cdu.no to listen to the actor Sean Bean reading this poem.

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on in the world between the covers of books, such sandstorms and ice blasts of words, such staggering peace, such enormous laughter, such and so many blinding bright lights, splashing all over the pages in a million bits and pieces all of which were words, words, words, and each of which were alive forever in its own delight and glory and oddity and light. “notes on the art of poetry” by dylan thomas (1914–1953)

     Dylan Thomas’s poem is about the joys of reading, particularly as a child. Which particular “blinding bright lights” do you remember, i.e. books, stories, poems, songs or other texts that made an impression on you? Sit in pairs or groups of three and explain your choice. The following text is an extract from a lecture the author Neil Gaiman gave to the Reading Agency in London on the subject of reading and libraries.

    (b. 1960) is an English writer who has turned his hand to many different genres – novels, short stories, graphic novels, poetry and song lyrics, as well as writing for film and radio. He writes for both adults and children and has achieved an enormous readership, particularly for his science fiction and his fantasy works.


Šƒ– • ‡ƒ†‹‰

‘‘†ˆ‘”ĝ By Neil Gaiman I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read. And certainly couldn’t read for pleasure. It’s not one to one: you can’t say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations. And I think some of those correla-

tions, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction. Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key . […] Words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals. [.…] I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world

p. 298 literate lesende, utdannet / lesande, utdanna correlation sammenheng, gjensidig forbindelse / samanheng, gjensidig forbindelse

to comprehend å forstå self-obsessed selvopptatt / sjølvoppteken obligation forpliktelse, plikt / plikt

Šƒ’–‡”ŞėBlinding Brigtht Lights


The Moment Before the Gun Went Off By Nadine Gordimer     (1923–2014) was a South African writer and activist who, though from a privileged white background herself, was active in the anti-apartheid movement. Many of her books and stories deal with racial issues and some were banned by the regime. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.

fatal livsfarlig, dødelig / livsfarleg, dødeleg domestic hjemlig / heimleg Afrikaner: ethnic group in South Africa of Dutch descent divestment: economic sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa crude uferdig, enkel, skissepreget / uferdig, enkel, skisseprega gleeful frydefull to sneer å flire hånlig / å flire hånleg


Marais Van der Vyver shot one of his farm labourers, dead. An accident. There are accidents with guns every day of the week: children playing a fatal game with a father’s revolver in the cities where guns are domestic objects, and hunting mishaps like this one, in the country. But these won’t be reported all over the world. Van der Vyver knows his will be. He knows that the story of the Afrikaner farmer – a regional Party leader and Commandant of the local security commando – he, shooting a black man who worked for him will fit exactly their version of South Africa. It’s made for them. They’ll be able to use it in their boycott and divestment campaigns. It’ll be another piece of evidence in their truth about the country. The papers at home will quote the story as it has appeared in the overseas press, and in the back-and-forth he and the black man will become those crudely-drawn figures on anti-apartheid banners, units in statistics of white brutality against the blacks quoted at United Nations – whom they will gleefully call “a leading member” of the ruling Party. People in the farming community understand how he must feel. Bad enough to have killed a man, without helping the Party’s, the government’s, the country’s enemies, as well. They see the truth of that. They know, reading the Sunday papers, that when Van der Vyer is quoted saying he is “terribly shocked”, he will “look after the wife and children”, none of those Americans and English, and none of those people at home who want to destroy the white man’s power will believe him. And how they will sneer when he even says of the farm boy (according to one paper, if you can trust any of those reporters), “He was my friend. I always took him hunting with me”: Those city and overseas people don’t know it’s true: farmers usually have one particular black boy they like to take along with them in the lands: you could call it a kind of friend, yes, friends are not only your own white people, like yourself, you take into your house, pray with in church and work with on the Party committee. But how can those others know that? They don’t want to know it. They think all blacks are like big-mouth agitators in town. And Van der Vyver’s face, in the photographs, strangely opened by distress – everyone in the district remembers Marais Van der Vyver as a little boy who could go away and hide himself if he caught you smiling at him. And everyone knows him now as a man who hides any change of expression round his mouth behind a thick, soft moustache, and in his eyes, by always looking at some object in

hand, while concentrating on what he is saying, or while listening to you. It just goes to show what shock can do. When you look at the newspaper photographs you feel like apologizing; as if you had started in on some room where you should not be. There will be an inquiry. There had better be – to stop the assumption of yet another case of brutality against farm workers, although there’s nothing in doubt – an accident, and all the facts fully admitted by Van der Vyver. He made a statement when he arrived at the police station with the dead man in his bakkie. Captain Beetge knows him well, of course; he gave him brandy. He was shaking, this big, calm, clever son of Willem Van der Vyver, who inherited the old man’s best farm. The black was stone dead. Nothing to be done for him. Beetge will not tell anyone that after the brandy, Van der Vyver wept. He sobbed, snot running onto his hands, like a dirty kid. The Captain was ashamed for him, and walked out to give him a chance to recover himself. Marais Van der Vyver had left his house at three in the afternoon to cull a buck from the family of Kudu he protects in the bush areas of his farm. He is interested in wild life and sees it as the farmer’s sacred duty to raise game as well as cattle. As usual, he called at his shed workshop to pick up Lucas, a twenty-year-old farmhand who had shown mechanical aptitude and whom Van der Vyver himself had taught to maintain tractors and other farm machinery. He hooted. And Lucas followed the familiar routine, jumping onto the back of the truck. He liked to travel standing up there, spotting game before his employer did. He would lean forward, braced against the cab below him. Van der Vyver had a rifle and .300 ammunition beside him in the cab. The rifle was one of his father’s, because his own was at the gunsmith’s in town. Since his father died (Beetge’s sergeant wrote “passed on”) no-one had used the rifle and so when he took it from a cupboard he was sure it was not

inquiry etterforskning / etterforsking assumption antagelse / meining, tru bakkie: South African for pickup truck snot snørr to cull å velge ut / å velje ut buck bukk kudu antilope game vilt, dyr som det blir jakta på aptitude anlegg to maintain å vedlikeholde / å halde ved like to hoot å tute

Šƒ’–‡”ŞėBlinding Brigtht Lights


Use the checklist below to help you analyse the short stories that follow. You will find it useful for getting to grips with both the short stories in this chapter and any others you choose to read. Not all of the questions apply to every story, however. Don’t worry if some of the questions are not relevant. Work with the questions that apply to your story.


Š‡…Ž‹•– ŚėŽ‘– – What happens in the story? – How does the story start? What information is given in the first paragraph? – What is the main conflict? – Is this conflict internal (within the character) or external (outside the character)? – Is the conflict resolved during the course of the story? How? – Are the events presented in chronological order or are there flashbacks? – Is there suspense or surprise? – Is there a climax in the story? If so, where? – How does the story end? (falling action) śė‡––‹‰ – Where and when does the story take place? – What social environment does the story take place in? – How much time does the story cover – an hour, a day, a lifetime? – How important is the setting for the development of the story? ŜėŠƒ”ƒ…–‡”• – Who is/are the main character(s)? – How are the characters presented? (characterisation) • Directly, i.e through description by the narrator or other characters? • Indirectly, i.e. by what they say or do? • By a combination of direct and indirect characterisation?


– – –

Are the characters dynamic (they change in the course of the story) or are they static (they remain unchanged)? Does the main character experience anything that might be called an epiphany? Are they fully developed characters (rounded characters) or are they stereotypes (flat characters)? Can you identify with any of the characters?

ŝė‘‹–‘ˆ˜‹‡™ – Who tells the story? – Is the narrator objective, limited or omniscient? • Objective – the narrator is simply a “fly on the wall” who records events and dialogue dispassionately • Limited – we are allowed access to the thoughts and feelings of one or more characters • Omniscient – the narrator is “God” and has insight into the minds of all her characters – Is the point of view constant, or does it change? – Is the narrating voice reliable, i.e. does it accord with the author’s? – Does the story contain irony? ŞėŠ‡‡• – What is/are the theme(s) of the story? – What does the title tell you about the story? – Why has the author chosen this particular title, do you think?

William Langson Lathrop: "In the Deep South" 1937.

The Flowers


By Alice Walker

(b. 1944) is an American writer of novels, short stories and poetry whose work often deals with the African American experience as well as feminist themes. She is best known for her novel The Color Purple which won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and was made into an award-winning film. Before reading this story, read the background text on p. 236 about African Americans in the American South during the period from the end of slavery until the Civil Rights movement. Ŝŝř

It seemed to Myop as she skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse that the days had never been as beautiful as these. The air held a keenness that made her nose twitch. The harvesting of the corn and cotton, peanuts and squash, made each day a golden surprise that caused excited little tremors to run up her jaws. Myop carried a short, knobby stick. She struck out at random at chickens she liked, and worked out the beat of a song on the fence around the pigpen. She felt light and good in the warm sun. She was ten, and nothing existed for her but her song, the stick clutched in her dark brown hand, and the tat-de-ta-ta-ta of accompaniment. Turning her back on the rusty boards of her family's sharecropper cabin, Myop walked along the fence till it ran into the stream made by the spring. Around the spring, where the family got drinking water, silver ferns and wildflowers grew. Along the shallow banks pigs rooted. Myop watched the tiny white bubbles disrupt the thin black scale of soil and the water that silently rose and slid away down the stream.

You are now going to read two poems. They have similar themes, but they are very different in their approach. Sit in pairs or groups of three and read the poems through twice, once silently (and slowly) and once out loud to each other. Then discuss the questions that follow the poems.

   (b. 1954) was born in Pakistan, raised in Glasgow, and now lives in London, Wales and Mumbai. She is the author of several poetry collections and is also a documentary filmmaker who has written and directed over a hundred films.

By Imtiaz Dharker Hand shaking on the stop-cock, she looks at the X, the warning cross, the water-tap unlocked, its padlock cracked. Breath hacks in the throat, Check your back. Turn it on and an anxious mutter swells to thunder in the plastic bucket. Don’t spill it.

Glossary: see p. 371.

Fill it to the top. Lift to the hip, stop, balance the weight for the dangerous walk home. Home. Don’t lose a drop. From the police chowki across the track a whistle, a shout. Run. Don’t stop. Don’t slip. A drag at the hip. Hot, hot underfoot. Water slops up and out in every direction, over the lip, over her legs, a shock of cool, a spark of light. With her stolen piece of sky, she has taken flight. Behind her, the shouters give up. She puts down the bucket. The water stills. She looks into it, looks up to where the blue is scarred with aimless tracks. Jet-trails cross each other off before they die out, a careless X.


Last Snowman By Simon Armitage He drifted south down an Arctic seaway on a plinth of ice, jelly tots weeping lime green tears around both eyes, a carrot for a nose (some reported parsnip), below which a clay pipe drooped from a mouth

    (b. 1963) has written novels and plays as well as scripts for film, radio and television, but he is best known as one of the most popular and respected British poets today. In 2019 he was appointed Poet Laureate (an honorary position appointed by the Queen). Glossary: see p. 371.

that was pure stroke-victim. A red woollen scarf trailed in the meltwater drool at his base, and he slumped to starboard, kinked, gone at the pelvis. From the buffet deck of a passing cruise liner stag and hen parties shied Scotch eggs and Pink Ladies as he rounded the stern. He sailed on between banks of camera lenses and rubberneckers, past islands vigorous with sunflower and bog myrtle into a bloodshot west, singular and abominable.

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d How is the snowman described, and where is he sailing?

a What is happening in each of the poems? e b What perspective do we see the action of

What sound effects are used in “X”, and what are their effects on the reader?

the poems from?


What examples of striking imagery can you find?

d Are there any references or images in the poems that are difficult to understand? Can you make any guesses about what they might mean?


Are there any images that might be called symbols (see p. 346) in the poems? If so, what do you think they symbolise?


How are human beings depicted in the poems?

ŜĨ      Talk about the following. Remember to explain your opinions, pointing to examples from the poems.

a How well did the findings in “Analysing the Poems” compare with your own discussions about the poems? Did the analysis mention things you had not thought of? Was there anything important missing from the analysis, in your view?

b If you were to choose one of these two poems to include in a programme to increase awareness about climate change, which one would you choose, and why?

g How do the poems differ in terms of tone, i.e. is one lighter/heavier than the other, more/less ironic, moralising, witty …?

h Look at rhyme, rhythm and sound effects in the poems. Do you notice anything striking?


What is the significance of the poems’ titles?

ŝĨ     ė Listening Go to interactions.cdu.no and listen to John and Jane talking about metaphors, both in song lyrics and in everyday language. Then sit in pairs and answer the following questions:

a How does Jane define a metaphor and what does she say about its purpose?

ś Ĩ         ė Analysis

b How does John interpret the metaphors

Go to interactions.cdu.no and find the text “Analysing the Poems” there. Read the text and answer these questions.

“river” and “sea” in the song lyrics he quotes?

c a According to this analysis, how are the titles of these poems connected to the theme of global warming?

What metaphors for their own lives do the interviewees at the end choose, and why?

d What metaphor for your own life would you choose, and why?

b How is the tone of the two poems different?



What do cruises and stag and hen parties symbolise in “Last Snowman”?

    “I believe how you measure a good movie is how many times you can see it.” ice cube

Think of a film that was so good you saw it more than once (or wanted to). What was so good about it?

‘”‹‰ ™‹–Š ‹Ž

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