A2 - Lesson 11

Part 1 : Video Lesson & Transcript

Part : Listening & Reading comprehension

Part 3 : Use of English

Part 4 : Grammar lesson

Part 5 : Writing an essay & corrections

Part 6 : Speaking, interaction, & explanations.


Please make sure you unfold each content for each part of the lesson.  Merci de déplier chaque contenu pour chaque partie de cette leçon.



See instructions beneath the video.


To learn is to be free


To learn is to be free

Shameem Akhtar posed as a boy during her early childhood in Pakistan so she could enjoy the privileges Pakistani girls are rarely afforded: to play outside and attend school. In an eye-opening, personal talk, Akhtar recounts how the opportunity to get an education altered the course of her life -- and ultimately changed the culture of her village, where today every young girl goes to school.




1) Listen to the video without reading the text / transcript

2) Then Listen to the video again reading the transcript as you listen.

3) Then listen to the video again without reading the transcript.



A room full of boys. A girl child, hardly nine or ten years old, she is sitting in the center of the room, surrounded by books. She is the only girl among boys, and is barely missing her female cousins and friends, who are inside the home instead of the school, because they are not allowed to get an education alongside boys. There isn't a single functional girls' school in her village.

She was born in a Baloch conservative tribe, where women and girls are a matter of honor. She is the eldest in her family, and when she was about to be born, her parents wanted a baby boy. But they had bad luck; a baby girl arrived. It was customary in her family to keep girls inside the homes. But her uncle, who was a university graduate, he wanted to give her an opportunity to see the world, to be part of the society. Luckily, she has a name that can be used for both men and women. So he saw a chance to change her course of life. So he decided to raise her as a boy.

At three months old, she went from being a baby girl, to baby boy. She is given a boy's getup. She is allowed to go outside and get an education alongside boys. She is free, she is confident. She observes, she notes small, everyday injustices faced by women and girls in her village. When newspapers arrive at her home, she watches as it passes from the eldest man to the youngest man. By the time women get hold of the paper, it is old news.

She completes her eighth-grade year. Now fear starts to come in. This will be the end of her education, because the only option for high school for further study is five kilometers away. Boys have bicycles, they are free. But she knows her father will not allow her to travel on her own, even if she were posing as a boy. "I can't let you do that. And I don't have the time to walk you there and back. Sorry, it is impossible." She gets very upset. But a miracle happened. A long-distance relative offers to teach her ninth- and tenth-grade curricula during summer vacations. This is how she completed her matriculation. The girl whom I am talking about to you is me, Shameem, who is talking before you now.

Throughout centuries, people have been fighting for their identity. People have been loved, privileged, because of their identity, their nationality, their ethnicity. Again, people have been hated, denied, because of their nationality, their identity, their race, their gender, their religion. Identity determines your position in society, wherever you live. So if you ask me, I would say I hate this question of identity. Millions of girls in this world are being denied their basic rights because of being female. I would have faced the same, if I hadn't been raised as a boy. I was determined to continue my studies, to learn, to be free. After my schooling, even enrolling in college was not easy for me. I went on a three-day hunger strike.

Then, I got permission for college.

In that way, I completed my college. Two years later, when the time came for me to go to university, my father turned his eyes, his attention, to my younger brothers. They need to be in school, secure jobs and support the family. And as a woman, my place was to be home. But, I don't give up. I sign up for a two-year program to become a lady health visitor. Then I hear about Thardeep Rural Development Program, a non-profit organization working to empower rural communities. I sneak away. I travel five hours to interview for a position. It is the first time I am the farthest from my home I have ever been. I am closest to my freedom I have ever been. Luckily, I got the job, but the hardest part is facing my father.

Relatives are already scaring him about his daughter wandering off, teasing him with talk of his daughter crossing the border. When I return home, I want nothing more than just to accept the position in Thardeep. So that night, I packed all my things in a bag, and I walked into my father's room and told him, "Tomorrow morning, the bus is going to come in. If you believe in me, if you believe in me, you will wake me up and take me to the bus station. If you don't, I'll understand." Then I went to sleep. The next morning, my father was standing beside me to take me to the bus stop.

That day, I understood the importance of words. I understood how words affect our hearts, how words play an important role in our lives. I understood words are more powerful than fighting. At TRDP, I saw there was a Pakistan which I didn't know, a country much more complex than I had realized. Until that, I thought I had a difficult life. But here, I saw what women in other parts of Pakistan were experiencing. It really opened my eyes. Some women had 11 children but nothing to feed them. For getting water, they would walk three hours every day to wells. The nearest hospital was at least 32 kilometers away. So if a woman is in labor, she travels by camel to get to the hospital. The distance is great; she may die on her way.

So now, this became more than just a job for me. I discovered my power. Now, as I was getting salary, I started sending back money to my home. Relatives and neighbors were noticing this. Now they started to understand the importance of education. By that time, some other parents started sending their daughters to school. Slowly, it became easier and acceptable for young women to be in college. Today, there isn't a single girl out of school in my village.

Girls are doing jobs in health sites, even in police. Life was good. But somewhere in my heart, I realized that my region, beyond my village needs further change. This was also the time when I joined Acumen Fellowship. There, I met leaders like me across the country. And I saw they are taking risks in their lives. I started to understand what leadership really means. So I decided to go back to my region and take a position as a teacher in a remote school, a school that I have to reach by bus -- two hours traveling, every morning and evening. Though it was hard, on my first day I knew I made the right decision. The first day I walked into the school, I saw all these little Shameems staring back at me -- with dreams in their eyes, the same dream of freedom which I had in my childhood.

So the girls are eager to learn, but the school is understaffed. Girls sit hopeful, learn nothing, and they leave. I can't bear to see this happening. There was no turning back. I found my purpose. I enlisted a few of my friends to help me to teach. I'm introducing my girls to the outside world by extracurricular activities and books. I share with them the profiles of the world's best leaders, like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Last year, a few of our students went to college. For me, I never stop studying. Today, I'm working to complete my PhD in education -- which will allow me to gain a management position in the school system, and I will be able to make more decisions and play a pivotal role in the system.

I believe that without educating the girls, we may not make world peace. We may not reduce child marriage. We may not reduce infant mortality rate. We may not reduce maternal mortality rate. For this, we have to continuously and collectively work together. At least I am playing my role, though the destination is not close. The road is not easy. But I have dreams in my eyes, and I am not going to look back now.

Thank you.


  1. Listen to the video and answer all questions below  without reading the transcript /text of the video.
  2. Then read the transcript of the video and check your answers, before looking at the corrections.




According to the speaker in the video, are these statements true or false ?

  1. The girl in the story was changed into a boy
  2. The girl’s family decided to pretend that she was a boy
  3. There are no secondary schools in the girl’s village
  4. She didn’t eat for a while in order to go to college
  5. She was offered a job at a bank
  6. She has influenced who is educated in her village
  7. She is still working in the same job



  1. F
  2. T
  3. T
  4. T
  5. F
  6. T
  7. F




See these examples from the video:

  • The world’s best leaders
  • The eldest in her family
  • The eldest man to the youngest man
  • The farthest from my home
  • I am (the) closest to my freedom I have ever been

These are examples of the superlative forms of adjectives. In general, we add –est to short adjectives and put most… before long adjectives to form the superlative (similar to the rules for comparative).












If last letter of adjective is “e”, only add “st”



Double the final consonant if it is immediately after a single vowel.





If last letter is “y”, remove, and add “iest”




most boring

Put “most” before the adjective if it has more than two syllables and doesn’t end with “y”


Most difficult








furthest / farthest

These two adjectives have two different superlative forms


oldest / eldest


Complete these sentences with the correct form of the superlative of the adjectives in brackets

  1. London is the ___________________ city in Europe (expensive)
  2. Peter was the ___________________ boy in the class (tall)
  3. Blackburn Rovers were the _______________ team in the league that year (good)
  4. That was one of the __________________ films that I’ve ever seen (boring)
  5. He was the ____________ that he had ever been (poor)
  6. She was perhaps the _____________________ and ________________ woman I had ever met (stupid, annoying)


  1. most expensive
  2. tallest
  3. best
  4. most boring
  5. poorest
  6. stupidest     most annoying



Traduire les phrases suivantes en anglais, issues du texte, puis retrouver ces phrases dans les deux premiers paragraphes du texte en anglais:

1. Une fille enfant, à peine huit ou neuf ans, Elle est assise au centre de la piece, entourée de livres.


2. Mais son oncle, qui est diplomé à l'université, il voulais lui donner l'opportuinée de voir le monde, de faire partie de la société.






Essential Grammar in use p 207-208

Unit 100  in / on / at  places 2




put in / on / at


  1. Helen is studying law .... university.
  2. There was a big table ..... the middle of the room.
  3. What is the longest river ..... the world?
  4. Were there many people  .... the concert last night?
  5. Will you be ...... home tomorrow after work ?
  6. Who is that man ..... this photograph? Do you know him?
  7. Where are your children? Are they .... school?
  8. George is coming by train. I'm going to meet  him .... the station.
  9. Charlie is ..... hospital. He's going to have an operation tomorrow.
  10. How many pages are there .... this book?
  11. 'Are you hungry after your journey?' 'No, I had a meal in ..... train.'
  12. I'm sorry I'm late. My car broke down ..... the way here.
  13. 'Is Tom here?' 'No he's ..... his brother's'
  14. Don't believe everything you see .... the newspaper!
  15. I walked to work but I came home ..... bus.


  1. at
  2. in
  3. in
  4. at
  5. at
  6. in
  7. at
  8. at
  9. in
  10. in
  11. on
  12. on
  13. at
  14. in
  15. on




Hardly (adv.) – little more than, only just, by a very small amount

Barely (adv) – not to a significant extent, little more than

Getup (n., informal) – collection of clothes, usually for a type of person

Determine (v.) – to completely or finally decide

Hunger strike (comp n.) – to refuse to eat anything as a protest

To sneak (v.) – to move quietly, to try not to be noticed

Empower – (v.) to give power to something

To tease (v.) – to make little jokes to someone, in order to make them feel a little uncomfortable

In labor – (prepositional phrase) to be giving birth to a child

Remote (adj.) – to be very far from other things, isolated

Can’t bear (verb phrase) – to find something very difficult or intolerable



Peseshet is a doctor and a teacher. The video describes a typical day of her life.

Now it is you turn. Write a text :

- Present yourself.

- Describe your profession.

- Tell what you did to get this job.

- Describe a typical day of your life : what usually happens when you are at work?




You can book a one to one class with a teacher who will correct your writing exercise.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.




You can book a one to one class with a teacher for the speaking.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.

Our online classes range from A1 to C2 levels, including specific class contents and online video classes.  They are designed to improve communication of spoken and written English with learner-centred lessons which help build students’ confidence, accuracy and fluency.

Our online learning classes offer an extensive level of flexibility for individual students, with comprehensive syllabus and content.