• Listening Exercise: Imaginary Worlds

    Today’s class is about stereotypes, books and imaginary worlds. Books are a source of inspiration for many people-for making our own imaginary visions of the world, whilst improving our knowledge so we become more aware of stereotypes. Stereotypes are an idea about a person or type of person (for example a nationality- look at this blog post), that is often incorrect.

    For example, a stereotype about someone from America could be that they have a big house surrounded by a white-picket fence, with a large pick-up truck in their garage. You can see that this is a very oversimplified image of American people-not everyone has a big house and truck. What about your country? Are there any stereotypes about people from you’re home town? We’d love to hear them in the comment section below!

    Let’s get started with today’s listening activity. We are going to listen to a famous author from Nigeria, Chimamanda Adichie. Listen to the video below and see if you can complete the sentences with the missing word to strengthen your listening skills.




    1. One of the _________ I was struck by when I first came to America was how little the _______ American knew about the world that I had came from. My roommates (were) saying to me “What kind of music do you listen to in Africa? Tribal?”
    2. Question #1 used the phrase struck by- meaning something that ‘hit’ you as being unusual, interesting or impressive. Let’s try and complete a sentence with struck by: When I went to ___________ (country/place) I was struck by _____________(something or someone that surprised/interested you).
    3. Africa was a place so strange, so different, it’s always Africa as a place of want, and I didn’t understand that. So I said, “Yes, we listen to tribal music like __________!”
    4. Do you think the answer to question #3 is ‘tribal’ music? We’d love to hear what kind of music you thing could be classed as tribal music- but be careful not to use stereotypes!
    5. In my real life I ate ________, in my imaginary life I ate ______. In my real life we had _______  ______, the ____ season and the _______ season. And we always had sun. But in my imaginary world in the books I read, there was such a thing as _____ and _______!
    6. If you had an ‘imaginary world’ what would fun things would be in it? Write your ideas in the comment section so we can compare our imaginations!

    Let’s look at this part of the listening exercise (from 1:30 onwards):

    ‘For complex reasons, that have to do with power and resources, there just are not as many children’s books that are about African realities as there are about American/ Western realities. And many African realities are still being told by other people. These Africans are somehow behind in the sort of evolutionary skill. I want African realities to be explored by Africans.’

    Can you see the word realities? This means things that actually happen, something that is experienced or seen. Can you tell us about something that is happening in your country right now? Who are the best authors in your country that explain the current realities?

    That’s it for today’s blog post. I hope you enjoyed it! We’d love to see you soon for a class with LOI English and help you further improve your skills. Click here to book a free 25 minute class now!



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