Subversive Teaching – 52

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This is a video of the dictation text we used in 52, simply called Machine. The speaker is Mario Savio, a political activist from New York who was very active in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in the 1960s in California.

This is from his most famous speech was made December 2 1964, sometimes referred to as the “put the bodies on the gears” speech . Here is a transcript below. We suggested a couple of directions this video speech could take the class in our book 52, but how might you use it? Post a comment if you like.

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”



Tired of the Oscar madness? Want a tongue-in-cheek look at the kinds of film that win academy awards? Check out this trailer with your students. It’s actually quite difficult, so I’d use this with advanced level learners only.

What do your learners make of it? Do you think that the spoof is, itself, potentially offensive? If so, how? What does it say about “Hollywood clichés”?

What would you do with this?