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Langues - LAN306ENG02 : The American Dream in words and pictures (C1/C2)

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The American Dream is the ideal that the government should protect each person's opportunity to pursue their own idea of happiness. It finds its roots in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Two centuries later, the American Dream is still alive and well. Not long ago, former TV anchor Dan Rather declared: 

The American Dream is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human achievement . . . It thrives today in an age when its core components of freedom and opportunity are open to more Americans than ever before. It holds a real, identifiable place in the American heart and mind, and it informs the aspirations of everyone from farmers to software developers, from detectives to bankers, from soldiers to social workers . . . It defines us as a people, even as we add to its meaning with each new chapter in our national experience and our individual actions.

In this class we will investigate how the idea of the American Dream has been fundamental to the construction of American society. We will also consider how the concept of the American dream has shifted to reflect each generation’s own dreams, hopes and fears.

The class is designed to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of American culture. It will offer interpretive frameworks for further and deeper analysis of the material under study, while also helping students to improve their writing and oral skills.

Over the course of the year, students will now and then choose, study, adapt and perform extracts from plays and movies — while writing their own material when needed.  Students will thus learn how to speak up in class and express their opinions in writing. They will undertake both individual (one per semester) and group projects (one per semester) aimed at providing them with the confidence to speak out and get the message across effectively. The idea is to keep theory to a minimum, while pushing practical experience and personal reflection through role-playing mostly — whether improvised (participation in class, that is) or prepared (assignment).

effectifs minimal / maximal:


Diplôme(s) concerné(s)

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil de 10)
    L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= D
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 1 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

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