Cultural focus – The British
Level(s): (B1) Intermediate/ (B2) Upper-Intermediate
Aimed at: Teenagers/young adults/adults
Aims: Speaking/ Vocabulary in the context of stereotypes about the British and Britain and British cultural symbols/Authentic reading
Materials: Handouts 1&2
Time: +/- 60 min
Article link: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/11/untrue-british-stereotypes-comedy_n_5484261.html
1. Begin by asking the students if they would like the chance to live and work abroad. If so, why?
Have the students work in groups of three and make lists of at least 3 benefits and 3 challenges of living and working abroad (encourage them to make them personal). Possible answers: benefits – higher salary, can get a better job after returning to their countries, possibly more flexible working style, etc. difficulties – understanding a different culture, miss family, language barrier, adapting to new working styles, getting along with a foreign manager and colleagues etc.
Feedback/Have some popular answers listed on the board.
+/- 10 minutes
2. Ask the students if they have ever considered working and living in the UK. If so, why? Have the students work in small groups again and read out the following sentences for them to finish:
A typical Englishman lives in a/an _________.
A typical Englishman likes _______________.
A typical Englishman carries a/an _________.
A typical Englishman wears a ____________.
A typical Englishman has __________ for breakfast.
A typical Englishman is ____________ , etc.
What else springs to mind when they think about the British culture? Have students work in small groups and list their ideas. Have their ideas listed on the board and add some of your own ideas to their lists. Take it as an opportunity to introduce vocabulary, e.g. stiff upper lip, bowler hat, thatched cottage, telephone box, etc. At the end of this activity you should have something similar to this on the board:
+/- 15 min
3. Have students work in small groups and explain that they are going to read an article about 9 stereotypes about the British that simply aren´t true. Give out the set of images form Handout 1 for each of the group and ask them to predict the stereotypes. Have a class feedback/list students´ ideas on the board.
+/- 10 min
4. Give out the original stereotypes to each group of students ( Handout 2) and have them compare it with their ideas. Have they guessed? Which stereotypes are the most surprising ones? Have a brief class discussion.
+/- 10 min
5. When in Rome do as Romans do
Write the above proverb on the board and ask students to discuss it. Do they believe it is always applicable? If they went overseas, how would they adapt and what customs would they keep?
As a follow up activity, students can create a poster about their countries or countries they would like to visit/visited.
+/- 20 min
Have fun creating!
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