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Prisons & People in Prison - People & Culture - The World
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Resources we're using

I created this webpage for my 2014-15 C1 level students (course blog), at adult public/state-run language education in Spain, but we're publishing it so that any net surfer can find ideas for working with these materials.

We're connecting Feminist Analyses, Prison systems, Prevailing Culture vs Other Culture/Lifestyles

Educational purposes & work involved...

  • point use their English for meaningful purposes (learning about the world and human societies)
  • point use their English to connect language learning and real life (Prisons, TV Series Orange Is the New Black)
  • point learn about the US American cultures: prisons, and US thinkers: Angela Davis (a US American thinker and activist whose work is fundamental for the construction of truly civilized societies)
  • point learn and think about the prison system (in the USA, but we can use this info for more global analyses)
  • point develop their feminist intelligence so as to manage more accurate social analyses and learn to include women as
  • point learn about how patriarchy uses gender to discriminate and subject women
  • point improve their skill writing argumentative texts: language and textual structure
  • point consolidate the vocabulary they are learning on Crime, Culture, Gender & Justice (or Crime & Punishment, as the curriculum goes)

More work done around the following two chapters involves:

  • At the Angela Davis webpage:
  • point Reading Chapter 1. Introduction--Prison Reform or Prison Abolition? in Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis (Seven Stories Press, 2006)
  • point Reading/Listening to chapter 4. How Gender Structures the Prison System - important to discuss OITNB in class
  • point Reading/Listening to chapter 6. Abolitionist Alternatives

More work:

  • point listening to English to learn to read essays aloud
  • point listening to English to learn to pronounce certain high frequency words in essays
  • point listening to English to make oral and/or written summaries
  • point listening / reading to gather info on prisons (including women) so that we can discuss the issue from informed opinions
  • point reading English to learn to read aloud
  • point reading English to highlight Useful Language for writing essays or argumentative texts

Other materials used to complement these materials here are:

The OITNB webpage:

  • point Orange Is the New Black. My Time in a Women's Prison, a memoir by Piper Kerman
  • point First three episodes of the TV series OITNB
  • point Script of episode 1x1 of OITNB (turned 65 pages into 16!!)

The Crime & Punishment/Justice Workshop (7 word pages) - articles, glossaries for work in class too


  • Learning about American/Native Indians:
  • point reading the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  • point discussing the movie Smoke Signals, screenplay by Sherman Alexie
    point If possible, guest speaker: Pueblo gitano (Roma People in Spain)