miercuri, 17 august 2016

I Heart English - The Cultural Diversity Issue

What is Cultural Diversity?
Reading, conversation and vocabulary 

Country Stereotypes 
Discussion and listening 

Global Cuisine  Discussion and vocabulary

Local Color Discussion and writing

Human Family Poem, video, conversation 

Reading, conversation and vocabulary activity


Nowadays cultural diversity is a fact. The World has some 6000 communities and as many distinct languages. Such difference naturally leads to diversity of vision, values, beliefs, practice and expression, which all deserve equal respect and dignity.           

Cultural diversity is our everyday reality. The international migration rate is growing fast every year. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of migrants has doubled since the 1970s. The report also says that around 175 million persons are residing away from the country of their birth and one in every 10 persons in the developed regions is a migrant. Also, more migrants are coming from countries ever farther away. While the reasons for migration vary (economic, political, personal choice …) , one thing is sure: we live in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

Culture is a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group. Art, literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, values systems, traditions, beliefs... Respecting and safeguarding culture is a matter of Human Rights and respect of fundamental freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, of opinion and expression, and freedom to participate in the cultural life of one's choice.

Cultural diversity is our collective strength. Indeed, it is not just a natural fact that we need simply recognize and respect. It is about plurality of knowledge, wisdom and energy which all contribute to improving and moving the World forward.


1)Find the meaning of these figures in the first 2 paragraphs:  6000   -   175  - 1/10 

2) Why is respecting and safeguarding culture a matter of human rights?

3)Why is Cultural Diversity defined as a collective strength?

CONVERSATION Questions: discuss with a partner or in a small group.

  • What are the good things about a multicultural society?
  • Can it bring problems to a country?
  • How would the world be different if there was no cultural diversity?
  • Will the planet eventually have mixed race societies?
  • What are the pros and cons of a country being multicultural or having just one culture?
  • Can a country lose its identity?
  • Should immigrants assimilate into the culture of their new country?

B) Cultural Diversity Key Terms:  Match the terms on the left to their definitions on the right.

1. Bias
A) The physical or mental characteristics of an individual that prevent or limit him other from performing specific tasks.
2. Culture
B) A microcultural group or collectivity that shares a common history and culture, com­mon values, behaviors, and other characteristics that cause members of the group to have a shared identity.
3. Cultural Assimilation
C) A classification of people based on physical and biological characteristics such as the color of skin, hair, and eyes.
4. Cultural Diversity
D) Preference tha prevents impartial or objective judgement.
5. Disability
E) Social, political, and economic structures that advantage one sex group over the other. Stereotypes and misconceptions about the biolog­ical characteristics of each sex group
6. Discrimination
F) A set of rigid and unfavorable attitudes toward a particular individual or group.
7. Ethnicity
G) Assuming that everyone in a particular group is the same.    
8. Ethnic group
H) A set of beliefs and values, especially about explanations that concern the cause and nature of the universe, to which an individual or group has a strong loyalty and attachment.
9. Mainstream
I) The values, beliefs, attitudes, languages, symbols, rituals, behaviors and customs shared by a particular group of people and passed from one generation to the next.       
10. Prejudice
J) A collectivity of people who have a sim­ilar socioeconomic status based on such criteria as income, occupation, education, values, behaviors, and life chances.
11. Race
K) The differential treatment of indi­viduals or groups based on categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or exceptionality.
12. Racism
L) Changes made by a group to adopt the ways of the dominant culture.
13. Religion
M) A classification of people based on national origin and/or culture.
14. Sexism
N) A belief that human groups can be validly grouped according to their biological traits and that these identifiable groups inherit certain men­tal, personality, and cultural characteristics that determine their behavior.
15. Social class
O) The characteristics of the dominant ethnic and cultural group in the nation.
16. Stereotyping
P) Individual differences based on cultural, ethnic, and racial fact        

Conversation and listening activity
Read this opinion of heaven and hell and discuss what it means to you. Do you agree / disagree with the description? Why (not)?

Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organized by the Swiss.
Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.


  How is your country stereotyped?
  Does stereotyping help in some way?
  Why do you think people stereotype?
  How can stereotypes be damaging? 
  How are various nationalities stereotyped?
  What is the difference between stereotypes and prejudices?
  Are stereotypes offensive?  Funny?  Realistic?

Listening Segment

NPR - 3.30 minutes
“For Asians And Latinos, Stereotypes Persist In Sitcoms”

Listen to the radio segment and answer whether the statements below are TRUE or FALSE, based on the report.

1.For the critic Eric Deggans some stereotyped characters in shows on TV are insulting.

2.He regularly sees black actors playing maids, pimps or buffoons.

3.A chinese character on a comedy shows a collection of stereotypes and his heavy accent is the reason for laughs.

4.Asians and Latinos are usually unemployed, criminals or sell drugs.

5.It will take a long time to wean writers off the easy jokes provided by stereotypes of Latino and Asian characters.

6.For writers and producers, TV shows are better when the characters are not stereotyped.

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 06:01 PM PDT

Conversation and video activity

1)Can you match a few of the world's most popular foods to their country of origin?

Fish ‘n’ chips      Masala dosa      Chocolate      Marzipan     Lasagna     Croissant          Som tam
Maple syrup      Sushi
Paella   Buttered popcorn  Fajitas

India          Spain             Thailand     Mexico           Germany
Canada    United States
Britain           Japan           Italy
France             Mexico

2)Discuss the following questions with a partner or in small groups.

What kinds of international cuisine do you like?
What kinds are available in your city/town/country?
How often do you eat food from other cultures?
Has your taste changed over the years?
What national dishes from your country would you recommend?

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 06:03 PM PDT

Conversation & writing activity

  • Do you think it’s important to keep traditions? Why (not)?
  • Should cultural identities be discarded or ignored when people move to another country? Why (not)?
  • What are the big holidays in your country? How is a typical
    wedding ceremony?  What is a customary greeting where you come from? Do people kiss, shake hands, or other?
  • What are some customs for eating in your country? Is there a national dish, dessert, drink, etc.?
  • Which traditions would you definitely maintain if you moved abroad?
  • Should people hold on to their language, religion, dressing habits and the like when they emigrate? Why (not)?
  • Which of your traditions do you value most?
  • Have you adopted traditions from another culture? Which ones?

Group Activity: Make a group list with all the traditions in your country that reflect your cultural identity.

Writing: Write and essay, reflecting your point of view on the topic of Cultural Diversity.

1.Create an original title to attract the reader. You can also do it at the end when you have finished.

2.Write an introduction that explains the topic and include information or examples that will transition the reader to the argument you are presenting.

3.Write the body and present your point of view with support information or examples. 

4. Write the conclusion to reassert your argument and persuade the audience to support your view.