Online Test

Since we are reading «Face» by Benjamin Zephaniah in our Language class, our teacher, Pilar, told us to do this online test on her blog.

Task 1.

Choose a poem by Benjamin Zephaniah and prepare an analysis. Write a paragraph explaining why you have chosen it. Focus on the message of the poem and analyse at least two literacy devices present in the poem. Then, find a picture to illustrate the ideas present in the poem and post it on your blog as well. If you are good at drawing you can also make a drawing of the poem yourself. Take a picture of it and upload it too.

Task 2.

Choose one of the following tasks and write about it.

1. Write your own poem on one of the typical topics present in Zephaniah. Include at least one form of Inversion and highlight it. (two stanzas and a name)

2. Write an interview  to Benjamin Zephniah as if you were a reporter. Include at least one form of emphasis and highlight it. ( between 10-12 exchanges)


Task 1.

The poem I chose is «Neighbours»:

I am the type you are supposed to fear
Black and foreign
Big and dreadlocks
An uneducated grass eater.

I talk in tongues
I chant at night
I appear anywhere,
I sleep with lions
And when the moon gets me
I am a Wailer.

I am moving in
Next door to you
So you can get to know me,
You will see my shadow
In the bathroom window,
My aromas will occupy
Your space,
Our ball will be in your court.
How will you feel?

You should feel good
You have been chosen.

I am the type you are supposed to love
Dark and mysterious
Tall and natural
Thinking, tea total.
I talk in schools
I sing on TV
I am in the papers,
I keep cool cats

And when the sun is shining
I go Carnival.

I chose this poem because I really liked that it dealt with the topics of discrimination, racism, social stereotypes and shallowness. In addition, what really caught my attention was that the voice is a person who is being criticized and discriminated. Although he is very well aware of it, he wants to prove that, while he knows everything that is being said about him, his neighbour should give him a chance to change his/her mind and convince him/her that he is «the type you are supposed to love» and feel blessed for having met him.

As regards, literary terms, alliteration is present when the poet says «I talk in tongues, I chant at night«; and there isn’t a rhyme scheme but in some parts rhyme is present, for example: «window» and «shadow», or «fear» and «eater».


This is sort of the scene that I pictured in my head of what the voice is describing in the poem. A person moving next door of whom you’ve made a stereotype in your head from his or her looks, therefore, who you don’t trust very much.


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Task 2.


As I was walking down the street,

I spotted some black men.

Without even thinking it,

I approached a couple of policemen.


Next to the officers I remained still.

But no sooner had they walked away,

than I realized how judgemental I had been,

And eventually left with a feeling of great dismay.


The Berlin Blockade – Images

Since we are studying the Berlin Blockade in our History class, in order to have a better image of what life was like during this time in Berlin, I looked up some images in Pinterest.


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This, Tempelhof, was one of the main hubs from where the city received its supplies.


«The Berlin Blockade (…) caused shortages of food requiring the Berlin population to grow their own fruits and vegetables».


The Berlin Blockade

Below are a series of videos to help us understand better what the Berlin Blockade was, why it was caused, and what consequences it had.


After watching the following videos, we were asked to complete the graph:



And answer the questions below:

1. What was life like in Berlin in the post-war era?

In the third video it is described since the gas and electric supplies were cut, the people in Western Berlin were facing a very hard winter. They had to get used to cooking slowly and to candle light as «the russian blockade brought darkness to the city». In addition, the people were running out of medical supplies.

2. How did Soviet policy towards Berlin differ from that of the West?

There were different governments. West Berlin was capitalist while East Berlin was communist. Moreover, Stalin wanted his the Soviet part of Berlin to be crippled wheareas wanted their part to have an econimic recovery. In the East, rebuilding had hardly got underway. Everything was Russian. They would only allow one brand of each product to be sold, no publicity was allowed, all the cars were the same, as were the buildings.

3. Why was reform of the German currency a key issue for both sides?

Because the USA wanted to replace the inflated war time currency with a more stable one which the Soviets saw as a provocative move since they wanted to introduce their own currency.

4. Why was the airlift such a major feat?

Because it consisted of 500 flights and 5000 tons a day for almost a full year despite the weather and accidents. In addition, the pilots had to keep exact timing and speed becuase there was another aircraft 30 seconds ahead of them at the same level.

5. In what respect can the USSR and US be responsible for further increasing tensions during the airlift?

The airlift created an atmosphere of uncertainty as the Soviets could never be sure if the aircrafts were overflying to drop goods or to bombard. Therefore this made both countries be suspicious of one another.

6. Why did Stalin eventually agree to talks over the airlift?

Because he had his own problems and was in no position to fight.

Extension question:

Who was more to blame for Berlin becoming a major flashpoint in the Cold War, the Soviets or the Americans?

They were both to blame because the Soviets closed all roads into West Berlin, which wasn’t under their control,  soit could be seen as a threatening action and the Americans because their aircrafts overflying East Germany was very dangerous because the USSR couldn’t tell if they were going to bombard or drop goods.

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