Thursday, November 11, 2010

Welcome, Barrack Obama, President of the United States

Thank God it's Friday!  Indonesians finally are recovering from the euphoria of Barrack Obama's visit to Jakarta.  Undoubtedly, the whole country (OK, most of us) were definitely smitten and in awe by his appearance.  There were 2 false starts this year because he had to handle domestic issues, thus, couldn't leave the country (now, if only our politicians followed his footstep) but November 9, he was here with his lovely wife, Michelle Obama.
Barrack and Michelle Obama with President of Indonesia, SBY

No scholarly wannabees that I knew of missed his speech during the state dinner on the 9th, nor the one he gave on the 10th in front of 6,000 invitees.  I believe he got us all at "Assalaamu'alaikum" and "Pulang Kampung, Nih" as evident from the deafening applauses at the Balairung Universitas Indonesia.

In class yesterday, I got a part of his speech transcript printed and copied and had the downloaded video of his speech in UI displayed on the projector.  I wanted my students first to listen to the recorded video of his speech and then when they were viewing the video for the 2nd time, I asked them to read the transcript while listening to Obama. 

My next assignment for them was to choose the part of the speech that they really liked and then had them practice saying it on their own copying as much as they could; for example the pronunciation, his diction and the pace of the speech. The students seemed to have a good time doing this assignment; although admittedly I could have done better with the setup.  In the end, most of the class went out to find a quiet corner to practice and record their voice using their cellphone.

Originally, once they're finished I wanted to play the recordings and had the class listened to some samples.  Unfortunately the bluetooth device couldn't work (that's technology to you!) so I asked the students to transfer the recording to a PC and then mailed the files to me via email.

I think Obama's speech could be used later as well when it's time for them to practice giving presentations.