Silje Gryteselv Rolling On The River

Task 1
Hungry for more
Task 1 deals with the topic “the American Dream”. “The American Dream” is a stereotype
and a cliché, but U.S. society and attitudes are still somewhat different from the Norwegian
society. The belief that hard work, ambition and a constant hunger for more is the right way in
life seems to be very strong in the U.S. We often hear stories about people who have moved
up from “rags to riches”. They have started with nothing and ended up on the top. A movie
that takes on this topic is “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio. His character
starts his career in a small stock firm and through the movie we can see him move up and get
rich. He earns the money through schemes and fraud and in the end he ends up losing
everything. This is hopefully not the common way to get rich, but it is a good example on
how a dream can turn into illegal actions. Other famous people who have “made it” are Bill
Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey.
The term “American Dream” has changed its content. In the 1700s the Dream was about
gaining personal freedom and earning your own land. The right to practice religion freely and
the search for new land and opportunities was things that made people from Europe embark
on the dangerous journey across the Atlantic Sea. “The American Dream” was even
mentioned in the Declaration of Independence through the rights that were given to all men. It
is important to know that “the American Dream” has not always been about “making it over
there”, but has been more about starting fresh and building a good life for yourself and your
family.
Oral competence is a competence that often seems to be forgotten. Instead of actually grading
students for their ORAL competence, teachers seem to grade them for their factual
knowledge. To know the facts that you are talking about is of course important, but oral
competence consists of so much more; knowing how to communicate and respond to other
people, how to listen and to be aware of our body language is also a part of our oral
competence. I often find it problematic that oral competence is seen as speaking and I think
that there should be a bigger focus on this competence. LK06 states that “Oral skills in
English means being able to listen, speak and interact using the English language. It means
evaluating and adapting ways of expression to the purpose of the conversation, the recipient
and the situation. This further involves learning about social conventions and customs in
English-speaking countries and in international contexts” (Udir, 2014). Oral competence
Silje Gryteselv Rolling On The River
require competence in not only how to pronounce the words correctly, but also having some
knowledge about social conventions and culture. This implies a great challenge for the
language teacher regardless of what language is being taught. I do not have all the answers
about how to raise the oral competence of the students in the classroom, but I think it is
important to bear in mind that this competence is important. Some cultures have depended on
their oral competence to pass on knowledge from generation to generation, and some still do.
In the task “Hungry for more” the pupils will work with their bodies and their voices to
produce a short play. They will have to write a manuscript (that shows just how dependent we
are on the written word in the Western part of the World), but they will have to perform the
play without any help from the manuscript. Before they start on the task I want to show them
some short films about “The American Dream” to give them an idea of what this term means
to people.
The competence aims I have chosen for this task is:
 express oneself fluently and coherently in a detailed and precise manner suited to the purpose
and situation
 discuss and elaborate on culture and social conditions in several English-speaking countries

Sources
Udir. (2014). Basic skills. Obtained 4.4.2014 from http://www.udir.no/kl06/ENG1-
03/Hele/Grunnleggende_ferdigheter/?lplang=eng
Udir. (2014). Competence aims.Obtained 4.4.2014 from http://www.udir.no/kl06/ENG1-
03/Hele/Kompetansemaal/Kompetansemal-etter-Vg1--studieforberedende-
utdanningsprogram-og-Vg2---yrkesfaglige-utdanningsprogram/?lplang=eng