Improve your English skills with Becoming

Improve your English skills with ‘Becoming’

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(You’ll find a short vocabulary list at the bottom of this article containing the underlined words. If there are any other words you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask).

Genre: Biography; Level B2

Have you already read Michelle Obama’s autobiography “Becoming”? Personally, I think it is a very impressive book and if you read it in English, Michelle Obama can help you improve your English skills.

What is the book about?

As the genre “Biography” already tells us, in this book Michelle Obama writes about her life. We learn about her early life in Chicago, her education, her work and family life, as well as her life in the White House. Along the way the author introduces us to the people who influenced her life, such as her future husband Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama does not only write about all the great things in life, but also about her struggles and disappointments, publicy as well as privately.

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    improve your english skills

    This autobiography will help you improve your English skills, because it will advance your vocabulary knowledge. In the book, Obama talks a lot about empowerment. You might be thinking why you should read a book about empowerment though. This is only one of the focuses of the book. Here are a few topics she talks about:

    • Inspiration. She hopes that she has inspired all young people to reach their goals no matter where they come from. I recommend this book to you so that become inspired to improve your English and achieve all your life goals.
    • Imposter syndrome. She wrote that she didn’t think she deserved to be a First Lady of the USA. However, there is no evidence to show she didn’t deserve it. In actual fact, she was more than qualified for the job.
    • Openness. Obama was very open about her past. She talked about how she went from being a nobody to one of the most powerful people in the world.
    • The title gives us an idea of the whole book and what it will be about. She became one of the most influential women in politics.

    other topics obama talked about

    Other topics that she talks about in her book, which allow you to learn advanced vocabulary are:

    • Politics. She talks about the politics of the USA and how it influenced her life.
    • Education. Obama talks about how her education helped her to become a role model for the next generations.
    • Power. The book talks a lot about how there are a lot of power struggles in politics. She talks about how people need to use their power to survive the scrutiny of the outside world

    As you can see, these are topics, which are quite complicated. However, if you want to take your vocabulary to the next level, such topics will sometimes come up when talking to English-speaking friends. This is why I would recommend this book for higher-level learners.

    If you need help understanding some of the vocabulary used in this book, I would recommend you to read the e-book version of this. Read one of my previous posts on how the Kindle can help you to understand English vocabulary better.

    Other reasons for reading the book

    Apart from being a really good book to improve your English skills, Michelle Obama’s autobiography gives you an in-depth account of one of the most impressive people in contemporary politics. Obama is still seen by many women, as a role model in the advancement of women in politics.

    Her time as First Lady in the White House made her one of the most-loved First Lady’s in American history and Obama conveys this with accuracy in her book. She is not someone who is self-centred, because she understands that her path to the White House was due to many factors.

    supporting exercises

    Here are a set of exercises from the BBC that you can also use to improve your English.

    Feel inspired to improve your English skills. Here is the link to buy the book.

    If you would like other ideas on what to read, then look at my previous blog post about the 17 best graded readers for English learners.

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    If you are looking for more ways to improve your English, then sign up for my colourful freebie (and newsletter) below.

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      Tell me in the comments below whether you were inspired by this book and whether it improved your English skills.

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