This topic is always interesting and really gets students talking and giving their opinion. It’s always interesting to hear how other nations see others. I created this lesson plan last summer when I had a multi-national group of students from Japan to Argentina. Of course, you first need to make sure your students won’t get offended by this topic and can handle it. Also you’ll need access to some technology to make life easier as there is a video involved in the lesson.
If you use it with a monolingual group of students, I’d be really interested to know how it goes as I haven’t. You might ask Ss to pretend they are from other countries as an idea.
This lesson will focus on speaking in the form of giving opinions and views. It also has a reading where students are required to read quickly for key information. Additionally it builds on vocabulary and expressions for describing people and habits.
- Introduce the lesson by handing out the following or displaying the following on the board.
// In a perfect world the police are …. the cooks are…. the mechanics are ….. the lovers are…… and everything is organised by the ….. // – I think this idea was taken from New English File, but I’m not sure.
Let Ss fill in the answers before asking them to share. In feedback you can elaborate on some of the answers and focus on any general language or mistakes that might come up.
2. Show Ss the American flag and ask them to generate some words that they connect with American, good and bad.
In feedback ask Ss to share their ideas before telling them that you are going to show them a video.
Tell Ss you are going to show them a video in which different people give their opinion about America. Tell them each person speaks in their own language, including English, so it is there job to read the subtitles and listening for how each country’s person describes America.
The cities in the video are
Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Adelaide, Berlin, Bogotá, Dubai, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo, New Deli.
Give the students the opportunity to watch the video twice before going through the answers and asking if there are any surprising answers and did they say the same things as you?
Answers: Addis Ababa – Paradise – full of god – full of resources
Bangkok – obese – food
Adelaide – don’t travel much – don’t know much about the world – optimistic
Berlin – dumb – fast food – patriotic
Bogotá – entertainment – show business
Dubai – culture – MTV – JT BS
Paris – don’t know geography – think they are always right
Rome – large portions of food – no quality
Shanghai – white people – American dream
Tokyo – pizza, very active – aggressive – open and happy
New Delhi – freedom – justice – good music bands
Tell Ss you’re going to give them a list of countries and ask them to work with their partner to think of an adjective or expression to describe each country. You might use the country you are in as an example.
Here are the countries I used. Of course you can add, change, and chop them.
Saudi Arabia Jamaica
Tell Ss you went on the Internet and took some comments from people talking about other countries. Give an example of your own country and then hand out the list at the end of the post. It has some language your students may not know in bold. Encourage peer teaching and monitor and help groups who are struggling.
These comments are not real and were typed up by me. You can change them and come up with your own if you like. There is also no right or wrong answer, so you can choose whatever country you want to to connect them. In feedback go over the answers and clarify the bold adjectives and expressions in the task.
You will probably want to have some kind of remember stage here to help the students remember any newly learnt vocabulary or expression. I had an upper-intermediate / advanced group when I did this, so I used an impromptu member game here.
To end the lesson and try and re-enforce the use of the previously adjectives and to allow Ss to talk about their own country’s. Give the students the below on a handout and give them a few minutes to think over their answers before getting up and mingling with other students to allow them to share their own country’s.
If you have students from the same country, then put them together to allow them work as one.
Stereotypes – Right down 3 stereotypes about your country that are not true that people think about your country. Get ready to explain your answers in detail.
Describe your countrymen and women, good and bad, and then share with the group.
Their girls are hot. They all look like supermodels!
They are very positive, open, friendly, and are usually very good on the dance floor
They’re not the brightest bulb in the shop. They’re all a bit ‘big’ too
They always stick together and rarely mix with others. They are also very loud.
They’re arrogant. They think they are better than others and usually look down on others. They also usually are reluctant to speak other languages
They’re all loaded! Fashionable clothes and they drive around in flash cars
They are very easy-going. Good cooks, but usually are high all the time.
The men are like animals. All they care about is bedding the next woman
They are too serious and don’t really have a laugh
They are hard-working students, always focused, but are shy when speaking
They are funny, warm, and usually up for a laugh. They use lots of body language
They have a weird sense of humour. They always drink too much alcohol, especially abroad.
They can come across as rude. They aren’t very considerate, and usually are very insensitive.
They are always taking pictures. They are very respectful, but a little shy.