Lesson #10: "Jackie Robinson"

Jackie Robinson  - This is the first part of an episode of American Mosaic.  The audio and transcript include two other stories as well, but you only need to listen to and read the first part for this lesson.

  1. Listening/Reading

    1. Prelistening:

      1. Look at the picture below.  Who do you think Jackie Robinson was?  Why do you think he may have been important?

        Jackie Robinson picture with actor from film 42

    2. First time listening to the audio.  

      1. Write down any words you think you many need, then listen to the audio here:  

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/audio/Audio/274810.html

      2. Second time - Listen to the audio again.  This time feel free to use the transcript as well.  Note you can double click on any word to see a definition. Take notes and write down any words you had to look up.

        1. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/article/1639815.html

    3. Comprehension - If you understood the text, you should be able to answer the questions below.  If not, refer to the text again.

      1. What does it mean to "break a color barrier"?  What barriers existed for African-Americans in the United States when Jackie Robinson played baseball? 

      2. Why did the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, think Jackie Robinson could succeed as the first African-American baseball player in the white league?  Besides being a great baseball player, what other characteristic was very important?

      3. How did the actor who plays Jackie Robinson in the movie prepare for his role?  What music is in the movie?

  2. Speaking

    1. Prepare for a conversation with your language partner.  Prepare questions about barriers in your partners country.  Are there barriers for some people in their country now?  Are some people unable to have certain jobs or live in certain places because of their race, religion, ethnicity or gender?  How about 100 years ago?  Are there famous people who helped remove barriers in their country?

    2. Meet with your language partner.  Try your best to only speak in English for 30 minutes.  Of course, be sure to then provide your partner with an equal amount of time to practice our native language as well.

  3. Writing

    1. Write a summary of your exchange with your partner on the Mixxer blog.  Write a description about important people in your partner's country who helped provide more people with opportunities in their country.