Upper-Intermediate Instant Lesson™
Work in small groups and answer the questions.
Imagine you are part of a political party committee choosing a candidate to stand for election as leader for your country. As
part of your selection process, you need to decide which of your candidates has a suitable partner.
1. What qualities do you think the partner of a country’s leader needs?
2. What kind of educational background and training should they have?
3. What special characteristics do they need? Why do you think this?
4. Should they be given a job in their partner’s government? Why do you think this?
A: Reading For Speci? c Information
Your teacher will give you an article. Read your article and complete the table below:
B: Writing Sentences
Make sentences about the United States ? rst lady using information from the article using these headings:
1. her childhood __________________________________________________________________
2. education __________________________________________________________________
3. what she would do as ? rst lady __________________________________________________________________
4. employment history __________________________________________________________________
C: Making Comparisons
Re-read what your group gave as answers for Pre-Reading Activity A questions 2 and 4. How do your answers ? t with the
subject of today’s article?
D: Matching Questions And Answers
On the next page is part of an interview with Cherie Blair, wife of British ex-prime minister, Tony Blair.
Part One: Three questions from the interview have been removed. Match each question with the correct answer.
i. What was your relationship like with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II?
ii. What role did the children play?
iii. What advice would you give to the potential new U.S. ? rst ladies Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain?
Part Two: What advice does Blair have for the partner of a world leader with a family?
ARTICLE © 2008 REUTERS LIMITED. LESSON © 2008 WWW.ENGLISH-TO-GO.COM 1
Cherie Blair on being the wife of a world leader
Wed Oct 22 NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) -...Blair spoke to Reuters about life as a lawyer, mother and wife of a world leader:
A: One of the things I’ve found when I’ve met particularly the spouses of heads of state is one thing we always have in
common is to talk about our families and there’s no doubt at all that the young children, particularly when Leo was born and
was a baby, he was a real icebreaker. How many little children in their ? rst year of life can say they met the president of the
United States, the president of France, Nelson Mandela, even the Chinese president....
A: “I was a girl from a modest background in Liverpool. All my life the queen had been the queen. She came to the throne
before I was born. For me to meet the queen and get to know her a little -- it would be wrong to create the impression that the
queen and I were bosom buddies -- but to get to know her and meet her was a fantastic privilege. She was always personally
very kind to me.”
A: “I think neither of them really needs advice from me. I do think that the role of the spouse of the head of state or head of
government, part of that thing that falls on you is to keep the family together by ensuring you have as normal a family life as
possible. In this 24-hour-a-day media culture you do have to work hard to protect your children.”
ARTICLE © 2008 REUTERS LIMITED. LESSON © 2008 WWW.ENGLISH-TO-GO.COM.
Fill the gaps in this cloze about the ? rst lady.
free to decide, hostess, ? rst ladies, ? rst lady, hosting dinners, press conferences
The title 1.’_______’ probaby wasn’t used regulary until the early twentieth
century. It is used to describe the 2._______ of the White House, usually the
wife of the current President of the United States. There is no job description
for the ? rst lady which means that the current ? rst lady is 3._______ what she
wants to be. The ? rst lady of the United States can choose to have a ceremonial
role, 4._______ at the White House and attending o? cial state functions and
ceremonies. Previous 5._______ have chosen to play di? erent roles: taking a
‘back seat’ to their partners or holding 6._______ and meetings campaigning for
issues such as humanitarian or environmental concerns.
You may do one or more of these.
A: Writing A Biography
Write a short biography of one of the women featured in today’s lesson OR choose the partner of a di? erent world leader and
write a biography for them. If everyone in your class does someone di? erent, make a web page or magazine featuring your
1. Talk to a partner. What do you know about relative clauses? Talk about the following ideas:
kinds of relative clauses how they are formed why they are used.
2. Work together and rewrite the following groups of sentences as one sentence, using a non-de? ning relative clause. Make
sure you use the correct relative pronoun in each case.
a. He was a lawyer before his wife became president. He specialized in criminal cases.
b. Smith is a house husband while his wife leads the country. He enjoys cooking but hates ironing and cleaning.
c. Many fathers now look after their children while their partners work. They receive a parental allowance from the government.
d. Our country has the largest number of women in politics in the world. Our country has positive discrimination laws.
ARTICLE © 2008 REUTERS LIMITED. LESSON © 2008 WWW.ENGLISH-TO-GO.COM 2
TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY
so clear to them, however, is the context in which relative clauses are used. (In this case
A: Reading For Speci? c Information - Answers
non-de? ning relative clauses.) Your discussion should at least raise the following ideas.
Name: Michelle Obama, Country: USA, Age: 44, Marital Status: Married, Married to: to
1. kinds of relative clauses - de? ning and non-de? ning relative clauses.
Barack Obama, Occupation: homemaker and worker for charity
how they are formed - de? ning relative clauses follow a noun and use a relative pronoun,
which di? ers depending on whether it refers to a person, place or thing. e.g. The person
B: Complete The Sentences - Sample Answers
who told me the story. Non-de? ning relative clauses also follow a noun, however we are
1. Michelle Obama was born in a blue-collar neighborhood in Chicago to working class
already clear about the noun itself (i.e. it has already been de? ned), the clause then is not
parents who taught her values and the importance of giving backsomething to the
essential in the sentence. This type of relative clause is formed using a relative pronoun
which can never be left out and is separated from the noun with commas. e.g. The child,
2. She was educated in a public school and then attended Princeton and Harvard law
who was very obedient, did everything she was asked to do.
why they are used - De? ning relative clauses To set apart a particular noun from others in
3. Her ? rst aim as ? rst lady is to be ‘mom-in-chief’ to her two daughters.
the same class. i.e. to make it clear which noun is being referred to. Non-de? ning relative
4. Her employment history includes working as vice president of the University of Chicago
clauses - to give added information about a noun.
hospitals, working for a law ? rm and in the Chicago mayor’s o? ce.
(NB The word order in the sentences depends on the desired focus of the sentence. You
may like to discuss if there are any subtle di? erences in meaning which arise, which are
C: Making Comparisons - Answer
in? uenced by the change in order.)
Answers will vary.
It is important for upper level students to become competent in their use, especially in
their written work, in order to develop a greater sophistication of style, in keeping with
D: Matching Questions And Answers - Answers
that of native users of English, and in an academic context (e.g. in the writing of essays) to
1. ii, 2. i, 3. iii.
develop greater skill in economy of language use.
Many otherwise capable students avoid using relative clauses, because they may still have
E: Comprehension - Answers
problems with form, (e.g. selecting appropriate relative pronouns), and this can lead to an
1. ? rst lady, 2. hostess, 3. free to decide, 4. hosting dinners, 5. ? rst ladies, 6. press
over dependence on simple sentences, resulting in an immature writing style. If students
know this, they will be more motivated in their attempts to become pro? cient.
2. a. He was a lawyer, who specialized in criminal cases, before his wife became president.
b. Smith, who enjoys cooking but hates ironing and cleaning, is a house husband while his
B: Language - Notes And Answers
wife leads the country.
Students at this level will probably be familiar with types and forms of relative clauses and
c. Many fathers now look after their children while their partners work. They receive a
the purpose for which they are used, so this activity should be a review. What may not be
parental allowance from the government.
Michelle Obama softens image for US ? rst lady role
Sat Nov 01 ATLANTA (Reuters) - Michelle Obama will bring public displays of a? ection and her fashion sense -- she has been
the skil s of a corporate lawyer to the White House if her husband featured in magazines such as Vogue and Essence -- contribute
wins the U.S. presidency, but she says her priority will be her to the candidate’s youthful image.
role as “mom-in-chief” to the couple’s daughters.
In a widely praised speech at the Democratic National
Democrat Barack Obama faces Republican John McCain Convention, Michelle Obama shared details of the couple’s life
in Tuesday’s election. If the ? rst-term Illinois senator wins, he together and said her husband represented typical American
will become the ? rst black U.S. president and his wife the ? rst values.
black ? rst lady.
“What struck me when I ? rst met Barack was that even
Michelle Obama, 44, is a passionate advocate for her though he had this funny name, and even though he’d grown
husband’s candidacy, but she says she would not want a direct up all the way across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so
policy role in an Obama administration.
much like mine,” she said. “He was raised by grandparents who
were working-class folks like my parents, and by a single mother
“My ? rst job, in all honesty, is going to continue to be ‘mom-
who struggled to pay the bills just like we did.”
in-chief,’” she said in a recent magazine interview referring to
Michelle Obama has receded from the limelight since her
daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. She also says she hopes to convention speech, even though she draws large crowds while
focus ways women maintain a work-family balance and the campaigning solo for her husband.
needs of military families and she could act as an informal
In February, she stirred controversy with comments she
adviser to her husband as she has been during the campaign.
made on the campaign trail. “For the ? rst time in my adult
Obama, who grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood on the lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” she told an audience
south side of Chicago and went to public school, often talks in Wisconsin. “And not just because Barack has done well, but
about her father -- who worked for the city’s public water system because I think people are hungry for change.”
-- and the values instilled by her parents.
Conservatives criticized her as insu? ciently patriotic and the
After winning scholarships to the elite universities of dispute angered some black Americans who said they are held
Princeton and Harvard law school, Obama worked for a law ? rm to a higher standard of patriotism. Resistance to racial injustice,
and in the Chicago mayor’s o? ce.
they said, has often been cast as unpatriotic. Since then, Michel e
Her most recent job was vice president of the University of Obama has spent time supporting the families of U.S. soldiers
Chicago hospitals, where she earned more than her husband. ? ghting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even though the Obamas are now wel o? , partly due to royalties
In a recent speech in Denver, she re? ected on the campaign
from Barack Obama’s two books, Michelle Obama stresses the and the fact that her husband was within striking distance of
values she learned growing up. “When you are raised in a home the White House.
... (in which) you have love and security and you have people
“We would have not have gotten to this point in time in
who are sacri? cing for you ... you have an obligation to give our nation’s history without all of you because something
back,” she said. “That’s why community service has been such miraculous happened over this year,” she told the audience.
a big part of my life.”
“That is something new and it is something quite important.
‘PROUD OF MY COUNTRY’
So I am proud of my country and I am proud of my husband.”
Barack Obama describes his wife as his “rock,” a source of ARTICLE © 2008 REUTERS LIMITED. LESSON © 2008 WWW.ENGLISH-TO-GO.COM
strength and a gentle critic who keeps him grounded. Their
© 2008 English To Go Ltd. All rights reserved. News article © 2008 Reuters, used with permission. Not to be reproduced or stored in any way without the per mis sion of English To Go Ltd.
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