Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Just a little Britishness, my dear, please! Just a little!
(Level: Upper-Intermediate / B2 / ***)

Are these aspects of Britishness?
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This lesson will be devoted to the notion of...  Britishness. 

But what is Britishness, according to you? How would you define it?
In other words, what do you think are the most important aspects (notions, people…) of Britain? What do you associate the word ‘British’ with?
You can make a list.

When you are finished, you can compare yours with this 2008 list (of course, in a more recent list, Kate Middleton and Prince William would most certainly top it!)

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A recent survey (April 2014) conducted by a charity, The British Social Attitudes, showed that the monarchy, the BBC, the pubs, the weather, Shakespeare ... were among the commonest British associations and you may have found some of them as well.

Britishness can also be partially synonymous with the pride Britons have in their national identity.  
Partially because The BSA survey found that that pride has been declining.

If you want, you can have a look at The BSA site and find out how the surveys are conducted. Click HERE.

However, while still keeping that notion of Britishness in mind, the survey also highlighted that it is getting harder and harder to be seen as a true Brit.

You are now going to watch a Sky News report to find out more about that issue.

Before watching

The following words and notes could be useful:
the cradle: place of origin     berceau       
ancestry: ancestors       ascendance  
to tackle (a problem e.g.):  to deal with      s'attaquer à  
hard-hitting: effective; forceful       efficace; percutant  

(Alexander) Boris (de Pfeffel) Johnson (born 19 June 1964): a British Conservative Party politician and Mayor of London since 2008 (after being re-elected in 2012).  He worked initially as a journalist for The Times and the Daily Telegraph before becoming the editor of the Spectator.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921): husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was educated in several countries (France, Germany, England, Scotland) and joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 at the age of 18. After the war, he was granted permission by King George VI to marry Princess Elizabeth, which led him to abandon his own royal titles, to convert to Anglicanism and to become a naturalized British citizen. He married Elizabeth in 1947 who became Queen in 1952.

Joanna Lamond Lumley (born 1 May 1946): an English actress, former model and author, who starred in the British television series (Absolutely Fabulous as well as in The New Avengers) in films and plays. She is also an advocate for various causes (charities and animal welfare groups).

Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb, 14 October 1940): a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. He mainly dominated (with the Shadows) the British pop scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But he has released lots of singles, albums and EPs during a career spanning more than 50 years. 

While watching

Answer the following question in French:

What does it imply now to be(come) a true Brit?  Complete the grid.

What are the conditions?
Show how hard(er) it is now to be regarded as a true Brit.

You can also find the report on the Sky News site by clicking HERE 

When you are finished, you can check your answers

What are the conditions?
Show how hard(er) it is now to be regarded as a true Brit.
Etre capable de parler l’anglais

95% des personnes interrogées en 2013 estiment que c’est une nécessité. En 2003, ils n’étaient que 86% à abonder dans ce sens.
Avoir vécu en Grande-Bretagne la majeure partie de sa vie.

Argument tenu par 77% des personnes en 2013 ; 69% dix ans plus tôt.
Etre né en Grande-Bretagne.

74% des personnes le pensent (en 2013, contre 70% en 2003)

Argument qui suscite un gros problème car des « Britanniques » apparemment de prestige ou de haut niveau nés ailleurs (à l’instar de B. Johnson, Maire de Londres, né à New York ou le mari de la reine né en Grèce, ou une actrice comme J. Lumley née en Inde) seraient exclus.
Avoir la « bonne » ascendance

50% des gens le pensent.

Problème pour la journaliste qui a bien son passeport et qui est bien née en Grande-Bretagne mais pas ses ascendants !  (Ou bien: ils n'ont pas la "bonne" couleur!!!  - Plutôt vague)
Attendre un certain délai (en tant qu’immigré) avant de pouvoir prétendre bénéficier d’allocations au même titre qu’un Britannique

60% des personnes interrogées estiment nécessaire que ces personnes ne puissent en bénéficier qu’après trois ans alors que le Premier Ministre veut fixer le délai à trois mois après leur arrivée…  

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