Right to Reply

The holy grail (and I’m talking particularly of teen classes here) is finding a topic that students want to talk about.

“Hey guys! So let’s talk about fashion this week! What are you all into?”

It’s a wonder we don’t get lynched sometimes.

Normally we’re advised to keep politics out of the classroom, but with recent events, that’s been all but impossible.

And this hasn’t been a bad thing. It’s brought out some spirited debates, interesting opinions, and I’ve seen normally quiet students offering opinions.

I found a clip from the news that I thought might be interesting. It’s a dejected President Obama praising Hillary Clinton and making the best of a bad situation. Click here for the link.


There’s some interesting language in the first three minutes that I pulled out with my stronger students…

a smooth transition of power, an extraordinary life, a historic candidacy, I’m absolutely confident, hit the ground running, we’re all on one team, I was heartened, a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion.

We also happened to be looking at some collocations that lent themselves very nicely to the topic…

New English File Advanced 3rd Edition

I asked my students to write a letter to Donald Trump for homework, using the language we’d studied in class. They had a choice… either a letter of concession and congratulations from Hillary Clinton or a letter of advice from Barack Obama. They came up with some wonderful results. Here are a few of them…






Thanks to Chiara, Linda, Tony, Giovanni, Stefano and Fabiana for their hard work!


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