President Donald Trump gave his first speech after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Trump told the gathered crowd that ‘protection will lead to great prosperity’ and that America would be protected by God before warning that the US needed to protect its borders from the ‘ravages of other countries'. You can find the full text here and a subtitled version here.
COMMENT Whatever you think about Donald Trump, his manner of speaking (slow delivery, limited vocabulary, lots of repetition) means that his speeches and interviews make ideal listening comprehension material for English learners.
Today is Inauguration Day in the USA. Here's a collection of cartoons I put together for my EM Normandie students relating to Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. The cartoons provide plenty of material for discussion and language practice. You can download the original PowerPoint slides here.
LESSON IDEAS 1. You can use the transcript below to create other activities (gap-fill, comprehension questions, etc.) 2. Compare the American way of saying dates with the British way (see here and here for more on this). 3. Freeze the video and see if the students can identify the various presidents.
TRANSCRIPT The president-elect doesn't officially become the president until the clock strikes noon on January 20th, Inauguration Day, which officially kicks off the new four-year term of POTUS, and occurs even when the president is re-elected for a second term. It all started April 30th, 1789, with George Washington. He established the tradition of placing the right hand on the bible before swearing into office. Only three presidents have opted out: Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy, and Franklin Pierce. Adams, in particular, placed his hand on a book of U.S. laws to acknowledge the barrier between Church and State, along with his loyalty to the nation's laws above all else. Most inaugural ceremonies were held outside the Capitol building. Some exceptions were: in 1909, William Howard Taft was sworn in the day after a blizzard that dumped nearly ten inches of snow, and Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985 with wind chills colder than 20 degrees below zero. Before 1937, Inauguration Day was typically held on March 4th, but when the 20th Amendment was ratified, the date changed. So, what happens at the Inauguration? A Supreme Court justice traditionally swears in the vice president. He swears to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and to carry out the duties of the office. The band then plays the song "Hail Columbia", which was composed for George Washington's Inauguration. At noon, the new president takes his oath. He swears that he "will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States". The band plays "Hail to the Chief", followed by a 21-gun salute. The new president gives his inaugural address, which will set the tone for the next four years. There are two other big events that take place during Inauguration Day: the parade and the ball, which James Madison and his wife started. During the ball, the former president's belongings are removed and the new president's furnishings are officially moved in, bringing an end to the day's festivities.
Thanksgiving Day always falls on the the fourth Thursday in November in the USA, which is three days from now. I've done crosswords for most holidays and festivals at some time or other, but never got round to doing one for Thanksgiving — until now. Click here to do the interactive online version of the crossword, and hereto download a PDF version with solution and word list. You can find dozens more ESL crosswords on my Crossword English website, where you can sign up for a free daily crossword and purchase my crossword books.
COMMENTARY Obama and Trump are in the Oval Office. Trump has a portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin under his arm. He points to a painting of Abraham Lincoln, which is hanging on the wall, and tells Obama, "This goes there!" Obama, arms crossed, looks horrified, as well he might.
EXPLANATION Trump has made no secret of his admiration for Putin. During the presidential debates, and on many other occasions, Trump defended Russia’s actions in Syria.
Here's a slide presentation I put together for a class with my EM Normandie students featuring editorial cartoons relating to the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the USA. You can download the original PowerPoint presentation here.
Yesterday saw the election of a new president of the United States. So, to mark the occasion, I've done a special souvenir Trump crossword. You can either do the interactive online version or download the PDF.
After a bitterly divisive campaign, a surprisingly gracious, if rather rambling, victory speech from President Elect Trump. If he does half of what he promises, he'll go down as one of the great US presidents. But don't hold you breath ...
TRANSCRIPT Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated. Thank you very much. I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us, it’s about us, on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very very hard-fought campaign. I mean, she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely. Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans and Democracts and Independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all Americans and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country. As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want better brighter future for themselves and for their family. It's a movement comprised of people from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people - and serve the people it will. Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I have spent my entire life in business looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve got to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It’s gonna be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realise his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re gonna rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it. We will also finally take care of our great veterans, who’ve been so loyal and I’ve gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey the time I’ve spent with them in this campaign has been among my greatest honours. Our veterans are incredible people. We will embark upon a project of national growth and renewal. I will harness the creative talents of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage their tremendous talent for the benefit of all. It’s gonna happen. We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us. We will have great relationships. We expect to have great great relationships. No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country and beautiful things and successful things once again. I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground not hostility, partnership not conflict.
It's not official yet but there can no longer be any doubt that Donald Trump will be the next president of the USA. It will come as a major surprise/disappointment/shock for many, but after the UK's Brexit vote, we should have known better than to trust the polls. Chappatte's cartoon provides a scary vision of Trump in the Oval Office. Be afraid, be very afraid ...
COMMENTARY President Trump is shown in the Oval Office in the White House. On the desk in front of him are two red buttons, one marked Tweet and the other Nuke. A general looks on nervously. Let's hope he doesn't press the wrong button ...
NOTES 1. Twitter is Trump's favourite social media site and he has used Tweets to attack his opponents. 2. The US president obviously doesn't have a nuclear button on his desk, but it's a common metaphor to say that he has his finger on the nuclear button. • Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button?
This cartoon by Chappatte from the New York Times sums up many people's feelings about the 2016 US Presidential Election. You can see all Chappatte previous cartoons about this election (and the last one in 2012) here.
COMMENTARY The results of the presidential election are about to be announced on TV. A young girl is sitting on the sofa in front of the TV, but here parents are cowering behind the sofa, as if there was a horror movie on TV that they couldn't bear to watch (they may be right!) The woman asks 'Is it over?'
QUESTIONS • How are the parents feeling? • Who do you think will win the election? • Will you be staying up to wait for the results?