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American Culture ESL Lesson Plan

What Do Europeans Think About American Life?

Student Level

Downloads:2509

Video Length: 4:35

Updated on: 10/03/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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American Culture ESL Lesson Plan Description

OBJECTIVE & OVERVIEW

This American culture ESL lesson plan contains PDF worksheets, activities, and digital materials for upper intermediate B2 students. By the end of the lesson, students will gain a deeper understanding of American culture and life, as well as be able to compare other aspects of their own cultures/countries to America.

PREVIEW & DISCUSSION

This ESL lesson plan on American culture and life starts off by students using a mind map to describe certain cultural aspects of the USA — including food and drinks, family, university, healthcare, guns, and charactertistics of the people. This is followed by short dicussion about American culture. The second part of the preview section features an activity in which students can describe the same cultural aspects of America using some adjectives provided. Then, students have the chance to discuss what the 'American Dream' refers to, as well as talk about any of their own experiences visiting or living in the USA.

VIDEO & LISTENING COMPREHENSION

Students engage in a brief comparison of American culture with European culture, and then proceed to watch a video of other Europeans doing the same. In the video, Europeans from different countires are presented with certain topics related to American life and culture, and then must give their thoughts and opinions on these topics. In the viewing and listening activities, students take note of or describe what is mentioned about some of the cultural topics discussed in the video as it relates to America. Students can also check and compare their predictions from the preview part of the lesson. Finally, there is a section for students to complete the missing numbers they hear as they're mentioned in the video during the comparisons.

DISCUSSION & VOCABULARY

After watching the video, there are some follow-up discussion questions focused on students' personal opinions about the video and American culture. In the second activity, students analyze a quote from the video in which one of the Europeans describes the positive characteristics of Americans using a few adjectives. Students then form the nouns for these adjectives in a paraphrased version of the same sentence. To follow that up, students analyze some other adjectives that could be used to describe the people of a culture, and they form the nouns for these (for example, "patriotic" -> "patriotism" and "generous" -> "generosity". In the final activity of the viewing follow-up, students choose a few of these noun forms and discuss what Americans are known for using these same nouns in their descriptions.

DESCRIBE & COMPARE CULTURES

In the final, communicative activities in this lesson, students will complete two different steps. In the first step, students choose their own culture/country, or another. They must use some of the same cultural aspects from earlier in the lesson to compare their own culture (or another) with American culture, in the context of these specific cultural aspects. They should also use some of the same adjectives/nouns they studied in the viewing follow-up part of the lesson.

In the second step of the activity, students can choose a few more cultural aspects to research, and then must continue their comparisons with the culture they chose in the first step of the activity.

Benefits of using this American culture ESL lesson plan:

Cultural Awareness: It encourages students to explore and discuss cultural differences and similarities. This can help raise cultural awareness and promote tolerance and understanding among students.

Listening Skills: Watching a video of Europeans sharing their thoughts and experiences in English provides an authentic context for developing listening skills. Students can practice listening comprehension and improve their ability to understand diverse accents and expressions.

Vocabulary: The lesson plan introduces students to a variety of adjectives that can be used to describe people and cultures. This expands their vocabulary and equips them with useful language for discussing cultural topics.

Comparative Analysis: The lesson plan's activities encourage students to compare and contrast cultural aspects between their own culture and American culture. This critical thinking skill helps students analyze cultural differences objectively.

Video Description

In this video, young Europeans are asked to take a look at various U.S. cultural aspects and policies, such as those related to food and guns. When they learned about these American policies, they weren't impressed. In the video, the Europeans interviewed were surprised to find out how life really is in America.

Lesson Activities

Speaking

American Culture, Cultural Aspects/Topics

Viewing

Missing Information, Numbers, Prediction Check

Vocabulary

Adjectives, Nouns, American Life

Additional

Cultural Comparisons, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

American Culture, American Life

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