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Activity title
 
Contributor
 
Language level:







Duration:
Number of students:
Number of sessions:

 

Nationalities vs. Stereotypes

Contributed by: Javier Salazar

Activity overview:

Stereotypes are part of human nature ... and this in spite of the fact that they are among the many root causes of social problems such as racism, discrimination, xenophobia and even wars. There is a vast body of research in social psychology that suggests that “cognitive biases” determine how we perceive others that are labeled as the “Other” due to their preferences, interests, affiliations, gender/sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality. In this sense, although cognitive biases constitute an important mechanism for humans to make sense of their environment (and the people that inhabit it) they inevitably lead to the formation of stereotypes. Even more, these stereotypes tend to be largely unconscious; in the sense that humans are usually unaware of how their own biases shape their perceptions of the “Other”. When it comes to learning a foreign language (and ultimately communicating with the “Other” through it) stereotype awareness becomes an essential element of true intercultural communication. In this activity, student will be “tricked” into making explicit the stereotypes they may (or may not) have of people from other nationalities, as a means to eliciting stereotype awareness.


General objectives:

  • to elicit awareness of the stereotypes students may have of people with other nationalities

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Intermediate | CEFR B1 | IELTS 3.5-4.5 |TOEIC 500-700
Advanced-Intermediate | CEFR B2/C1 | IELTS 5.0-6.5 | TOEIC 700-900
Advanced | CEFR C1 / C2 | IELTS 7.0 + | TOEIC 900+

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1
2

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

1 - 1.5 hours
1.5 - 2 hours

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Pelican Family

Contributed by: Bruno Jactat

Activity overview:

In this activity, participants attend a welcoming ceremony in a simulated foreign culture. The Pelican family (a man and two women) greet the participants in silence. The guests are expected to do as the hosts do and not speak. After the ceremony, participants will share their impressions and try to understand the underlying workings and motives of this particular culture. The final part, which reveals the origins and thus true nature of this culture, actually serves to unveil the workings of the minds of the participants when faced with an unknown cultural environment.


General objectives:

  • to compel participants to discover the ethnocentric views they might have on other cultures and which create judgments and labeling

Activity language:

The material instructions are written in English, but any other L2 is possible if the teacher translates rules & materials to the target language.

L2 level:

Intermediate | CEFR B1 | IELTS 3.5-4.5 |TOEIC 500-700
Advanced-Intermediate | CEFR B2/C1 | IELTS 5.0-6.5 | TOEIC 700-900
Advanced | CEFR C1 / C2 | IELTS 7.0 + | TOEIC 900+

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

1 - 1.5 hours

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

BARNGA

Contributed by: Bruno Jactat

Activity overview:

In this classic simulation activity, participants play a simple card game in silence. They do not know that they are all playing with slightly different rules. Since they are only allowed to communicate through gestures and pictures, at some point they have to solve the discrepancies they observe in the other players’ way of playing the game.


General objectives:

  • to explore cross-cultural communication styles

Activity language:

The material instructions are written in English, but any other L2 is possible if the teachers translates rules to the target language

L2 level:

Intermediate | CEFR B1 | IELTS 3.5-4.5 |TOEIC 500-700
Advanced-Intermediate | CEFR B2/C1 | IELTS 5.0-6.5 | TOEIC 700-900
Advanced | CEFR C1 / C2 | IELTS 7.0 + | TOEIC 900+

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

1 - 1.5 hours

Download full activity:

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Cultural Onions

Contributed by: Fern Sakamoto

Activity overview:

This activity introduces students to the onion model of culture and facilitates community-building in a safe environment. Students learn a little about their classmates, about themselves and about the concepts of identity and culture.


General objectives:

  • to deepen sense of community and reflect on their own identity/culture and on the concept of culture itself

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Pre-intermediate | CEFR A2 | IELTS 2.5-3.0 | TOEIC 225-500

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

30-45 minutes

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Learning about similarities and differences through a picture book

Contributed by: Gaby Benthien

Activity overview:

Authentic children's picture books can be used to introduce students to an L2 and foster intercultural awareness. This series of activities is aimed at lower to mid primary students who have learnt parts of the body and colors already.


General objectives:

  • to raise awareness of our similarities and differences / diversity in terms of physical features

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Elementary school or younger

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
4
5

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

15-30 minutes
30-45 minutes

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Making the Familiar Strange

Contributed by: Stephen M. Ryan

Activity overview:

In this activity, students read and enter questions about a text purportedly written by an anthropological observer of a foreign culture. In fact, the practices described in the text are very familiar to the students: they are part of Japanese lifeways and all students in the class are intimately familiar with life in Japan. The intention is to make the familiar strange.


General objectives:

  • to understand that the way outsiders see us is different from the ways we see ourselves

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Pre-intermediate | CEFR A2 | IELTS 2.5-3.0 | TOEIC 225-500

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
2

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

45-60 minutes

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Assumptions that Divide Us

Contributed by: Stephen M. Ryan

Activity overview:

Students watch a YouTube video and reflect on why the waitress in the video was unable to communicate with her customers. Surprisingly the problem is not lack of a shared language but some very inflexible assumptions she makes. The activity is intended to give students a chance to reflect on the non-linguistic barriers to communication and the difficulties caused by unchallenged assumptions about the people we interact with.


General objectives:

  • to reflect on barriers to communication

Activity language:

L2 level:

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

15-30 minutes

Download full activity:

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Critical Thinking: A Path to Understanding to Global Issues

Contributed by: Prateek Sharma

Activity overview:

A significant part of intercultural education is to educate learners on some of the pressing global issues that the world faces today. Social differences and economic disparity are two such challenges that numerous countries still face. This activity will help learners critically analyze how, mostly, one problem leads to another, or how these challenges are interconnected.


General objectives:

  • to raise social and cultural awareness
  • to develop critical thinking skills
  • to allow learners to demonstrate critical thinking abilities through their classroom discussion

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Pre-intermediate | CEFR A2 | IELTS 2.5-3.0 | TOEIC 225-500

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

1 - 1.5 hours

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Is everyone’s image of a dog the same?

Contributed by: Andrew Johnson

Activity overview:

Individuals derive the meaning of simple (and not so simple) English words based on the culture and personal experiences. For example, the word ‘dog’ in one culture may not have the same association to someone in another. The aim of this lesson is to help students understand this connection between language and culture/experience.


General objectives:

  • to facilitate the understanding of the connection between language and culture/experience

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Beginner | CEFR A1 | IELTS 1.0-2.0 | TOEIC 120-220
Pre-intermediate | CEFR A2 | IELTS 2.5-3.0 | TOEIC 225-500
Intermediate | CEFR B1 | IELTS 3.5-4.5 |TOEIC 500-700

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

30-45 minutes
45-60 minutes

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.



 

Bedrooms Around the World

Contributed by: Vikki Williams

Activity overview:

This lesson practices describing things, in this case, bedrooms in various countries. Students are encouraged to think about how they live and the lives of people in other countries.


General objectives:

  • to learn about the surface culture of other countries by describing bedrooms around the world

Activity language:

English

L2 level:

Pre-intermediate | CEFR A2 | IELTS 2.5-3.0 | TOEIC 225-500

Estimated number of sessions:

(multiple possible)
1

Estimated duration:

(multiple ranges possible)

45-60 minutes

The options above suggestions. Teachers should adjust based on their own context.

Click on the 'magnifying glass' or download the pdf to learn more.