Belmont International English

Civics

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I like to include some United States civics lessons in my classes as a part of the cultural education of my students.  These lessons also serve as an opportunity to use English in discussions of differences between cultures and governments.

I often print out one-page explanations of the constitution, the three branches of government, the House, Senate, etc.  and we read them aloud and discuss them, so we have a pronunciation exercise, a speaking exercise, and a civics lesson.  It's a lesson for me, too.  I learn a lot about other cultures and other governmental systems, and it just reinforces my feeling of how fortunate I am to have been born in the United States of America in the 20th century.  A really neat web site is Ben's pages on the site of the US government printing office.  Most of their explanations of how our govennment functions are geared to several different ages of children .  Even if your students are adults, you can choose more or less difficult language.

Click here for Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government

Electoral college explanation

On the old website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Servicess were a series of questions on the US Government that are used in the naturalization process.   I print out the questions only, and do an exercise exactly like that described in Topics/Activities/Word pairs.
Only half the students are permitted to see the written questions.  One student asks another student across the room the question,  and the one asked must be able to understand the question, know the answer, and make up a sentence to answer the question, so it's an exercise in pronunciation, listening, and sentence creation as well as a civics lesson.  The USCIS is in the process of revising these questions.  I am using the old questions until the new ones become available.

Click here to download old USCIS questions and answers

Click here to go to the web page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service dealing with the citizenship examination.

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