Inside The White House | ESL Video

Inside The White House

Quiz by: rmdcb    

Description: President Biden takes us on a tour of the Oval Office and White House.
Play Video: Keynote (Google I/O '18)
1.) What is the Oval Office?
2.) Who helped set up the furniture in the Oval Office?
3. On inauguration day, the outgoing president has to be out by noon or 10:00 in the morning. What time can the incoming president come to the office?
4.) What word did the speaker use to define America?
5.) Who crawled out from under the Resolute desk?
6.) Who are the the sculptures of?
7.) Who is Biden dancing with?
8.) What is the big book?
9.) Where did he get the '67 Corvette?
10.) What is the significance of the house on North Washington Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania?
11.) What is the tradition in Joe Biden's office?
Hey, Architectural Digest. Welcome to the Oval Office. Come on in.


This is the White House. This is it on inauguration day. The outgoing president has to be out by noon or 10:00 in the morning. The incoming can't come in until 4:00. So you can decide what furniture, what decorations you want in the Oval Office. I had asked my brother to help me set up my office in here on the rug and the furniture because he's a better architect than I am. What they do is in Suburban Maryland, there is a facility that is a replica in terms of dimensions of the Oval Office. And so you go out there and pick the furniture and the rugs you want, see what it looks like. And so my brother knows my taste extremely well. I love this rug. I love the color blue. That's one thing I knew I wanted. The rest, my brother picked out for me. And he had called a good friend, John Meacham, the presidential historian, for some help.


I've spent more time with the Chinese leader than any other head of state. And he asked me, he said, "Can I define America?" I said, "Yes, I can, in one word. And I mean it: possibilities. Possibilities. We Americans think anything is possible. We would do it together." And that's why John Meacham helped my brother pick out those five portraits up there. It's all about possibilities. There's not a single thing we can't do.

This was the Resolute desk that John Kennedy had. And remember that famous picture where John John, his son, came out from under the desk? Well, he comes out this door here. That's where he climbed out. Well, I have a little grandson. And what I decided to do when we came in here, let me show you. And that's my grandson, Beau, coming out from under the desk.

It's really an incredible office. I chose the things that sort of represent why I got into public life to begin with, for real. I wanted to be able to sit at my desk and when I looked out to see the two heroes I had, one was Dr. Martin Luther King and the other is Bobby Kennedy. Then I have a woman who refused to move to the back of the bus, Rosa Parks. I have her bust in here as well. And there's one other person that was from that era. This is Cesar Chavez of the Farm Workers. He was organizing farm workers in the southern part of my state at the time, and I supported him. I never met him, but I supported what he was doing. It cost me in southern Delaware, but I admired the hell out of him.

This is the love of my life and the life of my love. This is my daughter Ashley on her wedding day, and we're dancing the dance of father and daughter. This one is really amazing. This is on the night Barack and I were declared vice president and president of the United States. My mom, who admired Barack a lot, wasn't even supposed to be walking out on the stage. And they said, "And now the next president and vice president of the United States, Barack Obama and Joe Biden." My mother grabs Barack's hand there, and look at the look on his face. She goes, "Come on, honey, it's going to be okay." She walked him out on stage. She never stopped being everybody's mom.

I have this rugby ball over here. This is the all-Irish rugby team. I have two cousins who were stars on that team, and they gave me this ball. And then every time I've been sworn into any public office, I've used this Bible. It's just an incredible keepsake that's been around in the family for a long time.

By the way, reason for Ben Franklin, I got to put that up because my kids went to Penn, and I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

This moon rock, it's pretty cool. It's literally a rock from the moon. This is my '67 Corvette. My dad didn't have a lot of money, but he managed the dealership. So when I got married, he gave this to me as a gift. I still have it.

When I got elected president, Scranton decided to take Interstate 81, and the exit to Scranton used to be called the Central Scranton Expressway. They renamed it President Biden [Laughter] [Music] Expressway.

You know, there's a lot of other things in here that are of consequence to me. And I think of all the incredible things that have happened in this office over the last couple hundred years. And it really is just an incredible honor to be here. Let me show you back here. People don't get to go back here very often.

I think these are great sketches of Frederick Douglass. I have them put up on the wall here. There's a private office back here. This is where I come when I want to get away a little bit to work on a speech. There's a great portrait of President Kennedy there. The Kennedys didn't like it because they made them look too contemplative. I think it's a great portrait of them. And on the wall here, a lot of kids will send me these cartoons, and I put them up on the wall. And then I take pictures of them and send them to the families, which the kids get a kick out of. I think they're really neat.

And this is the house I was raised in, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on North Washington Avenue, which, by the way, the last three blocks at the end of North Washington Avenue, they call Biden Way. Now they've renamed it. [Music]

This is a private dining room. Not many people get to come back here. Barack and I used to have lunch those eight years, once a week, in this room right here. But I have a lot of personal family photographs back here. This is a picture of my son Beau, who's passed away. That's my mom and my dad, and when I had darker hair. And here, they're what they call command coins. Command coins are given in the battlefield, and the president has a command coin. And my command coin has on the back of it the Bo's unit, where he went to Iraq for a year. And so I'm going to give you a copy. Give you one. If, in fact, next time I see you, you don't have it, you have to buy the drinks. But you're in luck. I'm the only Irishman who's never met that's never had a drink in his [Music] life.

Did you want to see the Cabinet Room? I want to show it to you. Come [Music] here.

This is the Cabinet Room. Come on in. There's only one chair in here that's about two inches higher than every other chair. That's the president's chair. These chairs are really, really heavy. On the back of each chair is the name of the department they represent. This is the Secretary of Energy here in this chair. But there's a lot of really incredible things that have happened in this room. It's almost cathedral-like to me because when we're in here, we're talking about things of enormous [Music] consequence.

By the way, there's a tradition in my office. These chocolate chip cookies are all homemade. Thank you. Thanks for coming by Architectural Digest. By the way, I'm a subscriber. I'm a frustrated architect. Thank you very much. [Music] Appreciate.
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Complete these sentences with the words in the box.
architect       possible       get a kick out of       too contemplative       incredible honor       literally       admired       sworn into       declared       keepsake       taste       coming out from under


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Let's Talk!

1.) Have you ever been to the White House?
2.) What kind of furniture and decorations would you choose for your office?
3.) Who would you ask for help in setting up your office?
4.) Do you have any special items or keepsakes in your workspace?
5.) How would you feel if you had the opportunity to work in the Oval Office?

Inside The White House: A Tour of the Oval Office

Welcome to the Oval Office, the heart of the White House. Join President Biden as he takes us on a tour of this iconic room and shares the stories behind its furniture and decorations.

In this video, President Biden gives us a glimpse into the Oval Office and the process of setting it up. You'll learn about the replica facility used to choose the furniture and rugs, as well as the significance of the portraits on the walls. This video is a great resource for ESL learners interested in American history and politics.

This video is suitable for intermediate ESL learners who want to expand their vocabulary and improve their listening skills. It can be used in the classroom as a discussion starter or as a basis for further research on the White House and its history.



Past Simple


Oval Office

White House



presidential history


American history


Discussion Questions

1.) Have you ever been to the White House?
2.) What kind of furniture and decorations would you choose for your office?
3.) Who would you ask for help in setting up your office?
4.) Do you have any special items or keepsakes in your workspace?
5.) How would you feel if you had the opportunity to work in the Oval Office?


Oval Office






presidential historian



Resolute desk