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Learn about Beyonce's 'Formation' in this English lesson

Date: May 06 2016

Themes: Celebrity, Music, Sports

Grammar: Present Perfect Tense


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Recently, people around the world were talking about Beyoncé’s performance at the Superbowl. Halftime performances are always a big deal, but this year, Beyoncé’s performance started a big controversy. Why? Because of the song she performed, “Formation,” and because of the costumes of her backup dancers.

Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video shows scenes from the American South. The song talks about being proud of being an African-American. Many people thought the song had a positive message. However, other people did not like that the choreography in the video referenced the Black Panther movement. They also did not like that Beyoncé’s backup dancers wore Black Panther uniforms during the Superbowl performance. This is because the Black Panther movement was sometimes violent. There is still disagreement in the media about whether the performance encouraged violence or whether it was a positive celebration of African-American culture.

Gary is telling Kelsey about the Superbowl performance. Find out what they think in this lesson.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Gary:  I have to ask, did you watch the Superbowl?

Kelsey:  You know, I haven’t seen it, but I heard that Beyoncé performed.

Gary:  She did, and she did a really powerful performance of a new song that she just released called “Formation” with a number of dancers behind her, and it was really an impressive performance.

Kelsey:  You know, I heard that she released a music video that was very groundbreaking for the same song.

Gary:  Mm-hm.

Kelsey:  Was her performance similar to the video?

Gary:  Actually, the dancers and she took the choreography from that video and performed it at the Superbowl.

Kelsey:  Wow.

Gary:  What was really neat was that her dancers were dressed in Black Panthers-style regalia so they looked really powerful doing their moves, and with her delivering the piece with so much passion… it was really something.

Kelsey:  Yeah, you know, I heard there’s been a lot of controversy around this, and a lot of haters. Have you heard much about that?

Gary:  Yeah, the song talks about the South and race relations a lot, so just by bringing up those two things together, it stirs the pot, it gets people uncomfortable, I think.

Kelsey:  For sure. Well, good for her to perform that and release the video and to make those statements.

Gary:  I agree.


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Gary asks Kelsey if she has seen the Superbowl. She hasn’t, but she remembers hearing about Beyoncé’s performance. She heard that the music video of “Formation” was really groundbreaking, but she also heard that there was some controversy about the Superbowl performance.

Gary thinks that the performance was really cool and powerful. He liked that Beyoncé took the choreography from her video and used it in the Superbowl performance. He also liked that her dancers wore Black Panthers uniforms. Gary thinks that a lot of the controversy about the performance is because the song talks about the South and race relations. Because those are difficult subjects in the US, people get offended easily.

Do you like Beyoncé’s music? Did you see the Superbowl?



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I like the expression stir the pot. I used that in one of my papers, though my essay writer corrected it and said it was an error. Some slang or something. For a term paper, he said, it’s unforgiveable.

02:23 PM Dec 15 2016 |




I haven’t watched and heard it before, until I read this lesson and started watching it. 

It’s fine.!!!

Until it carries a special meaning and develops it through the world for avoiding uneven and racism relations among all nationalities in the world, it’s really cool and can be taken as a powerful performance. 

08:27 PM May 09 2016 |

Sami Aswad

Sami Aswad


I haven’t seen then super bowl but I’m gonna watch it on YouTube ;)

04:01 PM May 09 2016 |


ola3Super Member!


I have seen her better shows. Kinda aggressive and not comfortable feeling it spread. What’s the point? Art should give a message of peace, tolerance and all good stuff, but not violence. It’s a great sport show, people came there for entertainment and not to be politically educated. Make it grand spectacular, enigmatic.

10:55 AM May 07 2016 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I haven’t seen Beyonce’ music yet.

Actually,I’m not a music fan.

This type of music is not according of my religion,my culture and my taste.

I hate violent moves,stories, music, etc.

I always like to be happy.

07:08 AM May 07 2016 |

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