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Vanessa Redgrave Interview - Reading / Writing - Exercises

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Interview plus description of activity.

More: check out the TP Vanessa Redgrave webpage (The World - People)

Mission: Possible – Interview with actress Vanessa Redgrave
Classroom activity designed by michelle for Y5's (2006-07)

: practicing reading aloud, the oral skills, teamwork; skimming and scanning.
NB: Both interview and questions are given to students before the day of the activity,
so they can read it all at home first.

Work together (Think together, share your knowledge) to work out the meanings in this text (Only later, and/or perhaps at home, think about their connection to your own views on those topics). Don't use a dictionary. Discuss meaning in your groups as you read or after you’ve read the text once. Ask only if there's a plenary for those kind of questions. If there isn't, you can look up words, expressions and cultural references later on, at home.

Starting at the beginning… Initial Description
Describe this text: what kind of text it is, people involved, situation (time and place), purposes or topic(s)…

TIP: The discussion of this question could take you 3'-7' (10' max. If you haven't finished, just stop and finish at home, so you can continue with the following questions). After discussing what to say, jot down key words as a final outline you will all follow individually when you start to write your individual answers. Then everybody writes down the answer to this question. PLEASE: Just write when you know exactly WHAT (points) you are going to say and IN WHAT ORDER (outline) you are going to do so.This should take you 1-3'. Read your answers aloud quickly, just to check that everybody has written more or the less the same thing.

Reading Comprehension Questions

TIP: Try to contemplate the text from a panoramic distance! I mean, the answers are not in one specific sentence. (You can mark with the number of the question all the areas in the text which can be used for building the answer.) Please read it all trying to understand the main points, skim the text. Then you can scan it to improve the accuracy of your answers to the questions.

point According to Vanessa Redgrave’s words in this interview, what can be the role of Art in connection to Life or participation in life (activism)?
point What is VR’s explanation for the interviewer’s assumption that people tend to change their beliefs in favor of becoming conservative as time goes by?
point What is a source of strength for VR?
point Why does VR mention prisons when they are talking about education?
point Why did Shakespeare write Antony and Cleopatra, according to VR? Why do you think she is interested in producing this particular play today, instead of a more modern one?

On specific words
point Why does the interviewer talk about pastry?
point What does “sprouting seeds” refer to?
point What does “Beat a Cheat” refer to? Set it in context, please.
point Vanessa Redgrave uses the British variety of English but the text has been written down by someone who uses the US American variety. What word keeps reminding us of that?

On human communication

point Considering the ideas we can find in this text, would you say understanding those points depends on understanding a particular word or sentence? (Another way to put it, Is the construction of the message dependant on one sentence?)