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Module 1: Daily Life

Getting to Know Each Other

Getting to Know Each Other (interview): Have students interview a classmate they don't know well to find out one or more interesting things about that person and also practice using correct question forms
Pictures (Show and Tell): Bring some pictures of your life to class, and talk a little about them.
Life Story (interview): Have students interview a partner about his or her life story. For closure, ask a few students what the most interesting thing they discovered about their partner was.
Childhood Memories (survey): Have students survey several classmates about some of their earliest childhood memories.
My Life (press conference): Tell students they are newspaper reporters who need to interview you about your life in order to write a story for the local newspaper, and then have them prepare questions and interview you. (If some questions are too personal, let them know before the interview.)
Special Memories (cocktail party): Ask students to think of the most exciting (or dangerous, or wonderful) thing that ever happened to them. Then have everyone get up, find a partner, and ask about his or her story. For closure, ask a few volunteers to report on a good story they heard.

The Classroom

Practicing Useful Classroom Questions (dictation): Make up a short dialogue between a student and teacher that includes many useful classroom questions and phrases, and then use it for a dictation exercise with students.
What Do You Do in Your Country? (classroom chat): Ask students to teach you several useful classroom questions in the host-country language that would be helpful to you if you took a host-country language class.
Golden Questions for Classroom Survival (pair or small-group task): Ask students to decide on and be ready to explain the importance of the three most valuable classroom survival questions.

Daily Schedules

Early to Bed and Early to Rise (pair or small-group task): Introduce the saying “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” (Or introduce the saying “Time is money.”) Then have students decide whether they think this is true or not and be ready to explain why they think so. 
What's Nice About Our Schedule? (pair or small-group task): Have students list three good things about the average schedule in their culture (or in the target culture) and three things that are not so ideal.
Should Students Have Class on Saturday? (debate): Have students debate the merits of requiring Saturday classes.
What Is Their Day Like? (classroom chat): Ask students to describe the normal daily schedule for people of different professions—workers, farmers, students, officials, teachers, and so forth.
When Do You Eat? (classroom chat): Ask students what a normal schedule is for eating meals in their country (when, what, and how much).
When Do You Sleep? (classroom chat): Ask students what the normal pattern is for sleeping in their culture.
Do I Always Have to Be on Time? (pair or small-group task): Ask students to list situations in their culture in which it is acceptable—or even polite—to be late.
When Is the Best Time to Study? (survey): Have students survey several classmates on the best time of day for studying.

Food

Food Contest (pair or small-group task): Have students list as many fruits (or meats, vegetables, or other foods) in English as possible within 3–5 minutes. The words must fit grammatically into the sentence, “I love to eat…”, and students should be able to pronounce the words correctly. When you call time, have each group count up their list, and see which group has the most. Then have that group read the list as you write on the board. If students make any mistakes (e.g., in grammar or pronunciation), they lose their chance, and you move to the group with the next largest number.
What Do You Eat? (classroom chat): Ask students what they normally eat for breakfast, lunch, or supper.
My Favorite Eats (Show and Tell): Bring in pictures of a few of your favorite foods, and describe how to make them.
A Memorable Meal (talk, Dictocomp): Tell a story about a memorable meal you had in your host country or at home.
What Is Your Favorite Food? (survey): Have students survey each other on their most (or least) favorite foods.
What Foreign Foods Have You Had? (survey): Have students survey several classmates on what, if any, foreign foods they have had and what they think of them.
What Would You Feed a Foreigner? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide what (local) dishes they would prepare if they were going to prepare a banquet for a foreign guest. If necessary, they should be prepared to explain to you what these dishes are.
Cooking Class (pair or small-group task): Have students describe to you step-by-step how to make some wonderful local dish. As each group reports, allow other groups to comment (and critique).
A Food for Every Season (pair or small-group task): Have students list advice regarding what should or should not be eaten in the winter (or summer).
Fast Food (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: What do you think of the spread of Western fast food?
Health Foods (pair or small-group task): Have students list five especially nutritious (local) foods and what they are good for.
Local Delicacies (pair or small-group task): Have students list the most famous dishes of their region and be ready to explain what makes them special.
You Want Me to Eat That? (pair or small-group task): Have students teach you several culturally appropriate strategies for how to politely avoid eating something you don't want to eat at a banquet or dinner. 
The Dinner No-No (pair or small-group task): Have students list five things they would tell a foreign visitor never to do at a meal in their culture and be ready to explain why.
Toasting 101 (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to explain to a foreigner the local rules for toasting.
Can I Say No? (pair or small-group task): Have students list and describe the circumstances (e.g., Who? What situation?) under which it is hard to refuse to drink alcohol.
Should There Be a Drinking Age? (debate): Have students debate whether there should be a set drinking age below which it is illegal to buy or drink alcoholic beverages.

Clothing

What’s New in Local Fashion? (classroom chat): Ask students about the latest trends in local fashion—what’s in and out. (Alternative: Ask how fashion has changed over the past 10 years.)
Changes in Fashion (talk or Dictocomp): Give a short talk for students about changes in Western fashion during the past few decades, especially changes you have seen within your lifetime. To close, have students tell you about changes in local fashions over the past several decades.
Dressing for Winter (pair or small-group task): Tell students that you have heard it is very cold in their country in the winter (or hot in the summer), and you are worried about how to dress so that you will be as comfortable as possible, so you would appreciate their advice. Then have pairs or groups of students list suggestions for you, stating each suggestion as a bit of advice (e.g., “Be sure to wear a hat when you sleep at night.”). If necessary, first introduce vocabulary and sentence patterns for giving advice.
What Should a…Wear? (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students describe the proper dress for different kinds of people (e.g., teachers, business people, officials).
Special Clothes for Special Days (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about occasions (e.g., holidays, activities) in their culture when people wear special clothing. Have them describe the special clothing to you, and explain what the significance of any special clothing items is.

Homes, Buildings, and Space

Moving House (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to describe to you, step-by-step, how they would go about finding and getting a new place to live in their country. (Tip: Rather than having each group describe the whole process, ask each group what the first step would be, establish a consensus, and write it on the board. Then move to the second step, and so on.)
My Office (survey): Have students survey each other on the following question: If you had your own office and could arrange it any way you wanted to, how would you arrange the furniture, and why? (Variation: Have students ask how they would arrange, e.g., a living room, bedroom, or kitchen.)
A Typical Apartment (talk): Describe a typical apartment in the target country.
Buying a House (talk): Give a talk describing the process of buying a house in the target country. Include issues such as how to find available homes, what factors to consider, how to choose, and how to finance. 
Receiving Guests (classroom chat): Ask students for the best way to arrange chairs when receiving guests in a living room (meeting room, etc.).

Health and Hygiene

A Healthy Diet (talk, Dictocomp): Give a short talk about what Westerners think makes up a healthy diet—what people should and should not eat. Allow time for questions. For closure, have students tell you which points in your talk most people in their country would agree with and which many might disagree with.
Cold Remedies (pair or small-group task): Have students list what you should eat and drink if you have a cold. For closure, tell students about some of the folk remedies used in the target country.
Living a Long Life (pair or small-group task): Have students list the five most important things people can do to ensure that they remain healthy and live a long life.
A Healthy Menu (pair or small-group task): Have students design a healthy, week-long meal plan for you, using food available in the town you are living in. (Alternatively, have them design an exercise plan.)
Teach Your Children (pair or small-group task): Have students list—in order of importance—the five most important things parents should teach children about hygiene.
Night or Morn? (debate): Is it better to bathe (shower) in the morning or evening?

Work

What Is Most Important in a Job? (survey): First have the class as a whole list the rewards a job can have (e.g., status, salary, satisfaction, challenge, opportunity to learn). Then have students survey several other classmates by asking: What is most important in a job? (Alternative: Have students try to reach consensus in small groups on which rewards are most important, in a prioritized list.)
My Working Life (talk, Dictocomp): Give a talk about different jobs you have had in your life, including part-time jobs you had during adolescence.
Part-Time Jobs for Students? (debate): Should students be allowed to take part-time jobs?
And What Do You Do? (cocktail party): Using fictional identities and professions, have students meet, greet, and interview each other about their work.
Starting a Business (survey): If you were going to start a business, what kind would it be?
How Do You Like Your Job? (interview, survey): Have students survey or interview each other on their feelings about present or future jobs.
Finding a Job (pair or small-group task): Ask students how they go about finding jobs after graduation. Have them describe the steps to find and get hired for a new job. (Alternative: Have students decide on the three best ways to get a job.)
When They Grow Up… (survey): What are the top three jobs you would want your child to have?
To Be in Business? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages (or disadvantages) of business as a career.
To Start a Business (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss how one goes about starting a business.
Big Firm or Small? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss the relative advantages of working in a big versus a small company.
Getting Ahead (pair or small-group task): As a series of tips, have students list the rules for success in business.
Back to Nature? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of life as a farmer.

Recreation and Entertainment

My Idea of Fun (talk):  Give a short talk on one of your favorite forms of entertainment and the reasons you like it.
My Hobby (Show and Tell or press conference): Take something to class that is related to a hobby of yours, and chat a little about your hobby. Then tell students they have been asked to write an article about your hobby for the local newspaper, and have them prepare questions and interview you. Close by asking a few students whether your hobby sounds interesting to them or not, and why.
How to… (talk): Teach students how to do some aspect of one of your hobbies. 
Hobbies Galore! (pair or small-group task): Have students list as many hobbies as they can think of in 3–5 minutes.
The Strangest Hobby (pair or small-group task): Have students decide which hobbies are the three best (or most fun, most useful, strangest, or most dangerous). 
The Most Popular Hobby (survey): Have students survey their classmates to find out which is the most popular hobby (or travel location, etc.) and why.
Enough Holidays? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide how many holidays (i.e., days off from work) a country should ideally have each year and be ready to explain their decision. (Alternative: Have students decide whether their country needs more or fewer holidays.)
Fun Galore! (pair or small-group task): Have students list (mainly using gerunds like playing basketball and drinking tea) the most popular leisure activities in their country. 
Party Types (pair or small-group task): Have students list the most common kinds of parties (or social gatherings or activities) in their country and be ready to describe what happens at each.
Work or Play? (debate): Have students debate this question: Is it better to work a lot and have more income, or work less and have more vacation?
Top Tourist Attractions (pair or small-group task): Have students list their county's top tourist attractions and the virtues of each.
Weekend Fun (survey): Have students survey each other on the best way to spend a weekend.
Pets? (survey): Have students ask whether keeping pets is a good hobby.
Gardening for Fun? (survey): Have students survey each other on whether they think gardening sounds like an appealing hobby or not.
Can a Green Thumb Be Taught? (pair or small-group task): Have students list five rules for raising healthy plants.

Shopping

What Did It Cost? (game): Bring to class a few inexpensive items that you have purchased locally or at home. Try to find items for which students may not easily guess the price. In class, show students an item and allow them to ask a few yes/no questions to get clues. After you have answered several questions, make everyone announce a guess.
Which Bike Is Best? (classroom chat): Ask students which brand of bicycle (or computer, motorcycle, etc.) they think is best and why. Encourage good-natured debate. List brand names on the board as they are suggested, and close with practice pronouncing them.
Language in Advertising (pair or small-group task): Tell students that you have noticed that, even in their country, the packaging of many goods has English on it. Ask them why this is so. Then tell them that they work in the sales department of a packaging company, and they must decide what languages to use on the packaging of many goods. Have students’ list products under three categories: those which should only have the host language on them, those which should have mostly or all English, and those which should have about half and half. They should be ready to explain why.
Buying and Selling in a Store (activity): Assign half of the students to be sellers and half to be customers. Set the sellers up as a certain type of store (e.g., shoe store, fast food restaurant) and show them normal procedure in that kind of store. Then turn the customers loose. Variation: Set up a shopping mall (with many kinds of stores).
Buying and Selling in a Market (activity): Set up a market to practice bargaining, and assign some students to be sellers and some to be customers. Give each seller an object (or picture of something) to sell, and give each buyer a limited amount of fake money. See which sellers can earn the most for their products and which buyers can get the most for their money. 
Get Rich! (pair or small-group task): Have students make a plan for getting rich in business. They should decide what they would they sell, to whom, where, and so on.
I Want My Money Back! (activity): Divide students into two groups: merchants and customers. Each customer has an item that he or she will try to return to the merchant for a refund with an explanation of why he or she should be allowed to return the item; the merchant explains why he or she will not give a refund. (Either have students bring in items or you prepare some items.) If time permits, switch roles or partners. For closure, ask volunteers to share the best explanations (excuses) they heard. 
Returns (classroom chat): Ask students about customs vis-à-vis returning items to stores in their country.
Do the Math (game): Call out math problems. Have students do the problems and write or read out answers. Increase the speed as appropriate. (This is intended to build fluency in listening to numbers.)
Where Can I Get…? (classroom chat): List a few things you would like to buy in the host country, and then ask students, "Where can I go to buy…?" or "Where is the best place to buy…?"
Store Genres (pair or small-group task): Have students make a list for a foreign visitor describing the different kinds of stores in their country and what one would buy there.
Stores (Show and Tell): Show pictures of different kinds of stores in the target country.

Transport and Traffic

Rules of the Road (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students list and prepare to explain to a foreign teacher the most important local traffic rules.
Which Rules Are Really Important? (pair or small-group task): Tell students they have been asked to give their city recommendations for the revision of its traffic rules. Ask them to place the rules in the following categories: rules police should strictly enforce, rules that should be revoked, and rules that should be kept on the books but not strictly enforced.
Getting a License (pair or small-group task): Have students list and explain the steps for getting a driver's (or motorcycle, bicycle, etc.) license.

Social Life

What Should We Talk About? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the five most common topics people in their country chat (or gossip) about when making small talk.
How Do I…? (model-based dialogue): Write and teach a dialogue that provides a typical model (in language and culture) of how people in the target culture carry out the following social interactions. To close, have students prepare to explain to a foreigner the rules for these forms of social interaction in their culture.

° Introducing people
° Making invitations, accepting invitations, and (politely) refusing invitations
° Striking up conversations with strangers (appropriately)
° Apologizing, including how and when one apologizes
° Giving and responding to compliments, including how and when to do so
° Excusing oneself, including when and when not to
° Disagreeing (politely)
° Giving advice, including when it is appropriate to give advice
° Interrupting others, including when it is or is not acceptable to interrupt
° Accepting and refusing gifts politely, including when you should you say no to a gift

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Module 2: The Cycle of Life

Babies and Children

Advice for Pregnant Women (pair or small-group task): Have students list rules in their culture for pregnant women—what they should and should not do. Each can be written as a sentence completion: “Pregnant women should…”, “Pregnant women should not…”. For closure, respond with a corresponding list of rules in the target culture for pregnant women.
My First Baby (talk): If you are a parent, tell the story of the day your first (or second or other) child was born. Walk students through the events of the day.
Having Babies Western-Style (press conference): Tell students their local newspaper has assigned them to interview a Westerner and then write a story on how Westerners typically handle childbirth. Have them prepare interview questions in groups. Then have them interview you and take notes. For closure, ask students what the most surprising discovery was.
Having Babies Our Way (pair or small-group task): Have students list and be ready to explain customs in their culture surrounding birth.
Birthdays (pair or small-group task): Have students describe how birthdays are celebrated in their culture.
Taking Care of Babies (pair or small-group task): Have students describe how babies are fed and taken care of in their culture. For closure, describe corresponding customs in the target culture.
My Mama Taught Me… (talk): Tell students about some of the lessons your own parents taught you during childhood and the way they were taught.
Spare the Rod? (debate): Is it better to err on the side of strictness or leniency with children?
Who Should Take Care of the Kids? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide who should be primarily responsible for childcare: The wife? The husband? Grandparents? Relatives? A day-care center?
Teach Your Children Well (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students decide on the five most important lessons parents should teach young children at home.
The Best Years? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether they think childhood is the best time of life and be ready to defend their decision.
How Tight Should the Apron Strings Be? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether, on the whole, children should be trained to be more obedient or more independent.

Adolescence

Western Adolescents (press conference): Tell students their school newspaper has assigned them to interview a Westerner and write an article on how much freedom parents allow young people in the West. Have them prepare interview questions and then interview you. For closure, ask students which answers they found most different from those someone from their culture would give.
Old Enough (classroom chat): Ask students about age limitations in the local culture (e.g., must be 18 to drink, must be 20 to get married). Then have them discuss whether they think these age restrictions are reasonable and whether they would recommend another age or no age limitation if given a choice. Have them justify their answers.
Coming of Age (classroom chat): Ask students when someone becomes an adult in their culture. In other words, what marks the passage from being an adolescent to an adult?
Youth Culture (classroom chat): Ask students about youth culture in their country.
Generation Gap (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you whether there is a generation gap in their culture. If so, what are some of the differences between the generations?

Dating and Choosing a Mate

(Be sure to check whether these topics and activities are culturally appropriate in your host country.)

Meeting Your Mate (pair or small-group task): Tell students you have heard that the dating process is different in their country than in yours and that you are curious. Have students list, in order of frequency, how couples in their country usually first meet. For closure, based on what they tell you, comment on differences you see between their country and yours.
What Is Love? (pair or small-group task): Ask students to explain what love really means (in their context). Give them a few minutes to think and jot down notes. Then have them share their ideas and try to come to agreement. Each group should be ready to present an explanation all members (more or less) agree on. For closure, comment on differing views of love in the target culture.
The Ideal Boyfriend or Girlfriend (pair or small-group task): Divide the class into small groups composed of either all women or all men. Have the women list the characteristics of the ideal boyfriend; have the men do the same for the ideal girlfriend. Then have the women report their top five characteristics, have the men report their top five, and ask how each group feels about the expectations of the other.
What Is Courting Like in the Target Country? (press conference): Have students interview you about the typical steps by which couples meet and move toward marriage in the target culture.
Cupid Tricks (pair or small-group task): Have students list clever ways to introduce two people who would make a good couple.
My Love Story (Story): If you are married and wouldn't mind, talk about how you met your mate. The students would probably love it.
How Much Say Should They Have? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide how much influence parents should have in deciding who their children marry.
Who Makes the First Move? (pair or small-group task): Ask students to decide whether it should be acceptable for women in their culture to invite men out.
Blind Dates? (pair or small-group task): Explain what a blind date is, and then have students list the advantages and disadvantages of blind dates.
Problems in Finding a Match (classroom chat): Have students tell you what the most common problems are in finding (or choosing or winning) a partner in their country.
Mr. Right? (pair or small-group task): How do you know which person is Mr. Right or Miss Right? Have students list the most important signs.

Marriage 

(Be sure to check whether these topics and activities are culturally appropriate in your host country.)

Wedding Pictures (Show and Tell): Bring wedding pictures to class—your own or those of someone you know. Plan vocabulary you can teach as you show the pictures.
Weddings Local-Style (pair or small-group task): Have students in pairs or groups list the usual steps in the process of getting married in their country. Have each group tell you a step, in order, and write it on the board (Step 1, Step 2, etc.). Discuss disagreements. For closure, use this activity as a lead-in to the Mock Wedding activity, above.
Ping-Pong: To Marry or Not? (pair or small-group task): Divide class into A and B teams. (If the class is large, divide A and B into smaller teams.) Have the A team list the advantages of being single and the disadvantages of being married; have B list the opposite. Then tell the class they are going to play Ping-Pong with their ideas. In Ping-Pong, one player serves the ball and the other has to hit it back; when one player cannot return the ball, the other player scores a point. In this game, one side "serves" an idea to the other side; the other side must then "hit" the idea back with a reply. When one side cannot directly reply to the other side's ideas, the other side scores a point. Then a new idea is served. You keep score on the blackboard. For example,

A: If you are single, then you can keep all the money you earn for yourself.
B: But if you are married, you will have two salaries, therefore twice the money.
A: But what if your wife doesn't work?
B: [Here team B cannot reply, so team A scores one point.]

Please Can I Marry Him or Her? (pair or small-group task): What do you do if you want your parents' approval to marry someone they don't like? Have students list strategies.
Weddings in My Hometown (talk): Give a talk about weddings in the target country.
A Memorable Wedding (story): Tell students about a particularly memorable (or entertaining, disastrous, unusual, etc.) wedding you attended.
Making It All Legal (classroom chat): Have students explain to you what legal procedures one normally goes through to get married in their country.
Should Cutting the Knot Be Easy? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether it should be easy (with regard to law and procedure) to get a divorce and list reasons for their position.

Adulthood and Careers

The Best Age for Having Children (pair or small-group task): Have students decide what the best age is for couples to have a child. They should be ready to explain the advantages of that age.
To Have Kids or Not? (debate): Have students debate the relative advantages of having versus not having children. (Be sure to check whether this topic is culturally appropriate in your host country.)
One Company or Many? (pair or small-group task): Ask students whether it is better to stay in one company for their entire life or change companies a number of times. Have them prepare to present the advantages and disadvantages of each path and be ready to explain and justify their choice.
Career or Home? (debate): Which is more important: career or home life?
Life Insurance, Anybody? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether it is good for married couples (or people in general) to buy life insurance.

Retirement

Retirement Benefits (Show and Tell): Take documents related to retirement (e.g., social security cards) to class and show students the documents(s). Talk a little about how the system works in the target country, and what its pros and cons are.
What Would You Expect From Your Kids? (survey): Have students survey several other classmates, asking: “After you retire, what do you expect from your children?” (What should they give you or do for you?) Give everyone a minute to think about the question before the survey starts. For closure, have a few students report results.
Should Retired Parents Live With Their (Grown) Children? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of retired parents living in the same home with their grown children and decide whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
If I Were a Rich Man… (classroom chat): Ask students what they would do for retirement if they were rich.
Saving for Retirement (talk): Give a talk on how people in the target country typically plan and save for retirement.
Should Grandma and Grandpa Teach the Kids? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having retired parents take care of and teach their grandchildren.
Should There Be a Set Retirement Age? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a set age at which people (in a given profession) are required to retire. If there is a set retirement age, what should it be?
How About a Retirement Home? (survey): Have students survey each other on whether they would be willing to live in a retirement home when they get old. 

Passing the Torch

(Be sure to check whether these topics and activities are culturally appropriate in your host country.)

Causes of Mortality (talk): Give a talk listing and explaining the leading causes of mortality in the target country. 
Where There's a Will… (talk): Give a talk explaining wills and inheritance procedures and laws in the target country.
Remembering Those Who Have Gone Before (talk): Give a talk on how the departed are remembered in the target culture, especially any holidays or special occasions devoted to that purpose. Have students tell you about corresponding commemorations in their culture.
And the Cycle Goes On (talk): Give a talk about some of your ancestors, focusing especially on some of the more interesting facets of your ancestry. If possible, bring pictures.

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Module 3: Relationships

Family

My Aunt Minnie (talk): Give a talk introducing one of the more interesting members of your family and his or her career—the more entertaining, the better.
My Family (Show and Tell): Bring pictures of family members to class. Show the pictures and talk about the people. Having students come up and circle around your desk makes it easier for them to see small pictures; this also creates a more informal atmosphere.
The Ideal Family (pair or small-group task): Ask students to decide in groups what the ideal family household would consist of. (E.g., Two parents and one child? Two parents, one child, and grandparents?)
Who Does What? (classroom chat): Ask students what tasks various family members are usually responsible for in a countryside or urban family in the host country.

Friends

Where Did You Meet Your Friends? (classroom chat): Ask students to quickly think of a few of their best friends and maybe even write their names down. Then ask a few students where and how they met these friends. Try to learn how people usually meet and make friends (or best friends) in the host country.
My Best Friends (talk, Show and Tell): Give a short talk about a few of your best friends, where and how you met, and so on. If you have pictures, so much the better.
How Can I Make Friends? (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to offer a foreigner advice on how to go about making friends with people in the host culture.
Friend or Acquaintance? (classroom chat): talk about the difference between friend and acquaintance in the target culture. 
What Is a Friend? (pair or small-group task): Have students write a definition of friend.
A Friend in Need… (pair or small-group task): Have students list the kinds of help you should always be able to expect of a friend and the kinds of help you cannot necessarily expect of friends.

Men and Women

Should Both Men and Women Work Outside? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of having both members of a couple work outside the home. Is it better to have one stay at home?
Do Women and Men Think Differently? (survey): First teach vocabulary related to ways of thinking (e.g., logical, sensitive). Then have students survey each other on whether they think there is a difference in the way men and women think.
Mars and Venus? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide: Is it more difficult for women to communicate with men (and vice versa) than with other women?

Hosts and Guests

The Unexpected Guest (classroom chat): Ask students: “According to the norms of your culture, if a friend stops by to visit, is it ever okay to turn the friend away? If so, under what circumstances is it okay?”
The Duties of a Host (pair or small-group task): Have students list for you the things someone needs to do in order to be considered a good host according to the norms of the local culture.
Who Would You Invite to the Party? (problem-solving situation): Tell students you are having a party and there are five acquaintances you would consider inviting, but you only have enough room to invite three guests. Introduce each of the five acquaintances and give reasons you do and don't want to invite each. Then have students discuss the problem, give you recommendations, and explain them. 

Strangers

The Stranger on the Train (classroom chat): Tell students that in the West it is not unusual for people on planes (or trains, long-distance buses, etc.) to get into conversations with strangers in which they wind up talking about personal problems or issues, perhaps telling the stranger things they wouldn't tell their friends or family. Ask students if the same phenomenon occurs in their culture as well. If so, have them discuss why it happens.
Interesting Encounters (cocktail party): Have students share stories of interesting encounters they have had with strangers.
Never Talk to Strangers? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide: Should we teach children not to talk to strangers? Have them list the advantages and disadvantages.
Lonely or Alone? (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: Do you enjoy being a stranger in a place where no one knows you?
Obligation (debate): Have students debate whether people have as much obligation to help strangers as they have to help people they know.
Local Golden Rules (pair or small-group task): Have students list five golden rules for foreigners on being polite in their country.
Foreign Golden Rules (pair or small-group task): Have students list tips they would give to a friend who was going to travel in the target culture—a list of golden rules for how to be polite. After students share their lists, comment from the perspective of the target culture. (Alternatively, have students list five rude things a foreigner should never do in the target country.)

Bosses and Employees

Bosses and Employees in My Country (talk): Give a talk on what management-employee relations are normally like in companies in the target culture. 
The Ideal Employee (pair or small-group task): Have students list the characteristics of the ideal employee.
My Best Boss (talk): Give a talk on the best (or worst) boss you ever had.
How Should a Boss Boss? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss and decide: What is the best way for bosses to make decisions? Should the consult? Put issues to a vote? Decide by themselves?
One Rule to Rule Them All? (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss: Should leaders and bosses always be bound by the same rules as employees? Alternatively, have students discuss the advantages of bosses holding all employees to the same rules versus making individualized exceptions for potentially good reasons.
If I Were the Boss… (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: If you were the leader of your organization (or school, company, agency, etc.), what changes would you make?
One of the Gang? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of an office situation in which the boss tries to treat everyone as equals.

Husbands and Wives

The Power of the Purse (debate): Have students debate: Who should manage family finances?
Keeping the Flame Burning (survey): Have students survey several classmates, asking “What should husbands and wives do to keep romance alive in their marriage?” For closure, have students vote on the most efficacious or clever strategy.
Shall We Overcommunicate? (pair or small-group task): Tell students that some Westerners feel it is best if wives and husbands overcommunicate with each other, in other words, make an effort to communicate what they think and feel in words as much as possible. Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach. (Alternative: Have students decide approximately how much time husbands and wives should spend talking to each other alone each day.)
Raising the Kids (pair or small-group task): Have students decide which roles husbands and wives should each play in raising the children.
He's Always…! (pair or small-group task): Have groups of men list the most common complaints they think women in their culture have about husbands, and have the women list the complaints they think men most often have about wives. Then have groups share their lists—to be critiqued by groups of the other gender.

Parents and Children

My Childhood (Show and Tell): Bring some pictures of your own childhood (or, e.g., your children, nieces, and nephews) to class.
Chores When I Was Young (talk, Dictocomp): Give a talk about chores you were given as a child and whether you were paid in some way for them. You might also comment on the idea of chores as a part of a child's education.
Parent and Child Roles (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about what the duties of (1) parents and (2) children are in the local culture. Also have them explain what behavior would violate those roles.
Were Your Parents Strict or Lenient? (classroom chat): Ask students if their parents were strict or lenient. Ask for examples of behavior that illustrate their opinions. For closure, use this as lead-in to the activity Strict or Lenient? below.
Strict or Lenient? (survey): Have students survey several classmates on whether it is worse for parents to be too strict or too indulgent toward children.
Family Traditions (interview): First ask students to think of a tradition that is unique to their family. Then have students interview a classmate they don’t know well about any special family traditions they have. (It’s likely that students will share some traditions but will discover some differences from family to family.)
Allowances (debate): Divide students into affirmative and negative groups, and have them debate whether the custom of giving regular allowances is a good idea.
Adoption (survey): Have students survey each other on whether they think adoption is a good thing. 
Adoption (talk): Give a talk on adoption in the target country—how common it is, how they process works, what attitudes toward it are, and so forth.
My Upbringing (talk): Give a talk about how you were raised—what was best about it and what you wish might have been different. (Clearly, this is could be a somewhat personal topic, but you don’t need to make it any more personal than you and your class are comfortable with.) 

Siblings

To Be an Only Child? (survey): Have students survey several classmates, asking, “Do you think it is better to have siblings or be an only child?”
My Siblings (Show and Tell): Bring pictures to class and tell students about your siblings.
You Must Be a Second Child (pair or small-group task): In the West, people sometimes assume that oldest children, second children, and so on have certain characteristics. Have students discuss whether this is true in the host culture.
The Eldest Child (classroom chat): Ask students whether in their culture the eldest child has any special duties and responsibilities (e.g., toward parents or younger siblings).
The Family That Stays Together (pair or small-group task): Is it best for siblings to live in the same town? Have students list advantages and disadvantages.
Better by the Dozen? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of having a family with many children.

Relatives and Ancestors

Terms for Relatives (classroom chat): Have students call out all the English terms they know for relatives, and list these on the board. Make sure they know what each means. Then ask them to try to explain to you the corresponding terms in their language. (In many cultures, these are considerably more complicated than their English semi-equivalents, so this may quickly descend into good-natured confusion.) 
Godparents (classroom chat): Explain what godparents are, and ask students to tell you about any corresponding role in their culture.
Family Tree (talk): Introduce your family tree, perhaps also talking about whether genealogy is popular in the target country. 
Family Ties (classroom chat): Chat with students about the kinds and degrees of obligation relatives in their culture and yours feel to help each other.
Family Reunions (classroom chat): Ask students whether they often have family reunions in their culture. If so, when and how?
Keeping the Family Together? (debate): Have students debate whether it is most important for family members (or relatives) to live near each other (even at the cost of giving up job or career opportunities) or whether one should move to where job opportunities are best.
Passing on the Story (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: How are memories of ancestors passed on in your family?

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Module 4: The Nation

Visiting My Country

If You Could Go Anywhere…? (survey): Have students survey their classmates asking “If you could go anywhere in the target country for one day, where would you go and why? 
The Trip of a Lifetime (pair or small-group task): Tell students they have an unlimited supply of money for 3 weeks of travel. Have them plan where they will go and what they will do.
What Kinds of Places Do You Like? (survey): Have students ask each other what kinds of places they like to visit (e.g., temples, rivers).
Tour Planner (pair or small-group task): Have students plan a 10-day trip for a foreign visitor in their country. The plan should be as detailed as possible, including information on mode of travel, accommodations, and so forth.

Geography

The Best Place (pair or small-group task): Have students decide which region of their country is best to live in and why. As groups report their opinions, encourage good-natured debate.
My Home Region (Show and Tell): Bring photos or artifacts from your region to show your class.
Your Province or State (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about the geography and topography of their province or state.
Geography and Me (pair or small-group task): Have students list ways in which the geography of their province (or region, etc.) affects life there.
Economic Regions (classroom chat): Ask students to describe the different economic regions of their country.
Famous Peaks (classroom chat): Ask students about the most famous land features (e.g., mountains, rivers, deserts) in their country. Also ask which of them are important symbols of the country.
By Land or by Sea? (pair or small-group task): Have students list advantages, disadvantages, or both of living near the coast, in the mountains, and so forth.

The Climate

The Perfect Storm (survey): First have students list as many kinds of storms and natural disasters as they can think of. Then have students survey each other on which of these natural disasters they think is most frightening and why. For closure, tell students which of these you would least—or most—like to experience.
To Every Season (classroom chat): Have students tell you how the climate varies from season to season locally.
It's All in the Climate (pair or small-group task): Have students list ways the climate of their country influences its culture.
The Perfect Climate (survey): Have students interview each other asking what they think the perfect climate would be. (Alternatives: What is the best season of the year? What is the most perfect weather? The worst?)
Staying Cool (pair or small-group task): Have students list five tricks for staying cool in the summer. (Alternatives: Have them list tips for staying warm in winter; coping with high humidity; coping with very dry climates; or staying safe in a typhoon, blizzard, etc.).
Extreme Weather (focused listening): Give a talk on types of storms and extreme weather in the target country.
Weather Documentaries (pair or small-group task): Tell students that in many Western countries, documentaries about extreme weather and other natural disasters are a common—and popular—form of TV programming. Have them discuss why this might be so and list possible reasons.

Animals and Plants

As Tough as Hickory (pair or small-group task): Have students list five plants (e.g., trees, flowers) and what they symbolize in their culture.
Local Plant Life 101 (pair or small-group task): Have students list five plants (e.g., trees, flowers) that everyone in their country would recognize and that every visitor to their country should recognize. Have them be ready to describe the plants and why it is important to recognize them.
Animal Rights (debate): Have students debate whether or not nonhuman animals should have the same or similar rights as human animals.

Holidays

What Do You Know About…? (pair or small-group task): First have students quickly list what they already know about a major holiday in the target country and how it is celebrated. Then have each group report one item of information while you take notes on the board, marking unclear points with question marks. Follow up with a press conference activity in which students interview you about the holiday.
Holiday Pictures (Show and Tell): Bring to class pictures of celebrations for a holiday you celebrate. Show the pictures and talk about them.
Our Holidays (talk, Dictocomp): List several holidays of the target country on the board, and have students take notes as you explain when the holiday is and what it celebrates.
What Is a Maypole For? (pair or small-group task): Introduce a custom of a holiday in the target country that students probably don't know the origin of (e.g., Christmas trees, Maypoles). Have groups of students discuss the issue, make one guess as to the origin, then present the guess. Award one prize for the closest guess, one for the most original, and so on (a piece of candy per group member would be suitable). To close, briefly explain the origin.
We Need a New Holiday (pair or small-group task): Have students invent a new holiday for the host country and plan how to celebrate it. For closure, have each group present its proposal, and have the class choose the best (or the most creative, the most fun, etc.) new holiday.

History

Proudest Moments? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the achievements in history their people are proudest of. (Alternative: Have them list their country's achievements of the past 10 years.)
Back to the Future? (debate): Have students debate this question: Does a country's past determine its future?
Those Who Do Not Study the Past… (survey): Have the students survey each other on these questions: Is it important to study your own country’s history? Why or why not? How about the history of other countries? Why or why not?
How Then Affects Now (talk): Give a talk on one or more events in the history of the target country and how that event has changed the country and still shapes the country today. 
Ten Years From Now (pair or small-group task): Have students decide what their country might be like 10 years from now.

Contact With Other Countries

The World Out There (pair or small-group task): Have students list the ways in which people in their country learn about foreigners.
The People in My Country (talk, Dictocomp): Give a short talk about the different ethnic (or social, etc.) groups in the target country. (Alternatives: Talk about the different social classes in the target country or regional differences in the people.)
What Makes You One of Us? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the features that make them distinctive and different from the people of other countries. Have them do this as a set of sentence completions: “A…is someone who…” (e.g., “…likes…food.”).

Famous People

A Famous Person (press conference): Read up on a famous person from the target country (e.g., Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Jordan) so that you can play that person for an interview; if possible, also come up with a bit of a costume. Then have students interview you as that person for their local newspaper. For closure, ask them what discovery surprised them most during the interviews. (If you were forced to improvise answers to some of the questions, you might also let students know which answers were real and which ones you made up.)
Beyond the Spotlight (talk): Give a talk about a lesser known but interesting person from the target country you think students should know about.
Shall I Be Famous? (survey): Have students survey each other, asking: “If you were famous, what would you want to be famous for?”
The Price of Fame (talk): Give a talk on a famous person who met an untimely end or suffered psychologically trying to deal with their fame. Afterward, have students discuss the benefits and difficulties of being famous. Are the costs worth it? What role does society play in causing these kinds of tragedies? Should people in the media and entertainment industry be held accountable for celebrities who suffer from overexposure?
Famous Women (pair or small-group task): Have students list the most famous women (e.g., leaders, scientists, soldiers) in their country's history.
Listing the Leaders (pair or small-group task): Have students list as many of the target country's leaders (e.g., presidents, prime ministers, kings) as they can.

Heroes

Makers of History (pair or small-group task): Have each student write down, according to their own opinion, (1) the name of the greatest person who ever lived, (2) the most important event in the last century, and (3) the most important invention. Then have students compare their lists in groups. Have students explain and justify their answers to other members of the group and try to reach consensus. After students report, if time permits, discuss what criteria may be used to make a choice within each of the above categories.
Heroes of the Target Country (pair or small-group activity): Have students make a list of who they think people in the target country would consider their greatest heroes and why. After groups report, respond to the lists from your own cultural and personal perspective.
A Scene From History (activity): Have small groups prepare and perform a brief skit involving a hero in a famous scene from history or folklore. Allow them to prepare props as well.

National Symbols

My Flag (talk, Dictocomp): Tell the story of the target country's flag.
The National Animal (classroom chat): Ask students what animal best symbolizes their country and why. If the target country is associated with a certain animal, explain why.
The National Flower (classroom chat): Ask students what flower or plant best symbolizes their country and why.
The National Dish (classroom chat): Have students describe the dish they feel best represents their country and explain why.

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Module 5: Society

City and Countryside

Town and Country, My Style (talk, Dictocomp): Give a talk in which you compare countryside and city life in the target country, noting the relative virtues of each. Show photos if you have any.
The Place to Be (survey): Have students ask each other which city in their country they think is best to live in.
Our Most Important Cities (classroom chat): Ask students which cities in their country are the most important and what the characteristics of each are.
Your Biggest City Is…? (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students list (in order of size) the cities they are familiar with in the target country and what they know about them.
Playing Mayor (pair or small-group task): Have students imagine that they are a committee appointed to give the mayor of their city advice on how to improve life there. Have them list and be ready to present proposals for debate in an expanded council meeting (i.e., a whole-class discussion).
From Our Perspective (pair or small-group task): Have students list and explain differences in outlook (e.g., aspirations, goals) between urban and rural people in their country.
The Cost of Living (talk):  Give a talk on the cost of living in a small town versus a big city in the target culture, and also any differences in resources (e.g., availability of well-equipped hospitals). Have students decide whether the resources available in a big city are worth the costs and decide where they would prefer to live.

Government and Political Life

Levels of Government (classroom chat): Ask students to explain the administrative levels and setup of their government system to you. Chart out the system on the board as they explain, in part so they can check to see if you have understood. Follow up by finding out where the students are from (e.g., cities, county towns, villages).
Wanna Be Mayor? (survey): Have students survey each other on these questions: Would you want to be a mayor (or president, general secretary, etc.)? Why or why not?
The Pains of Power (pair or small-group task): Have students list the joys and headaches of being a mayor (or president, prime minister, etc.).
The Other Kind of Party (talk): Introduce the main political parties in the target country and the differences between them.
How We Pay Taxes (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to describe their country's tax system to you, including what taxes there are, who pays them, how the amount is determined, and how taxes are collected.
A Better Tax (pair or small-group task): Have students design the ideal tax system. (Alternatives: Have students discuss and decide these questions: What is the best way to tax? How much—percentage of income—is it fair to tax? Should the tax system be used to redistribute wealth?)
Elections (talk): Describe the election process in the target country and how it works—warts and all.
IDs (Show and Tell): Bring one or more of your important ID documents (e.g., passport, driver's license) to class and go over it with students. Follow up by asking them about basic IDs in their country.

Economic Life and Development

Do We Really Want to Reel the Clients In? (pair or small-group task): Tell students that they have been asked to advise their local government on whether it is a good idea to attract foreign companies to set up shop locally in order to create jobs and help the local economy. Have them come up with a recommendation.
Our Industries (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you what the most important national and local industries are.
A Development Strategy (pair or small-group task): Have students create an economic development strategy for their province (or city, county, etc.).
On the Farm (classroom chat): Have students tell you about the main agricultural products produced in their area, the normal schedule of the farming year, and the steps for planting and harvesting the main local crop.
Opportunity Knocks (classroom chat): Ask students: “If a business person from another country asked you what investment opportunities there were in your home area, what would you say?”
Creating Jobs (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: What is the best way to create jobs for the local economy?
Controlling Inflation (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: What is the best way to control inflation?
Made Locally (classroom chat): Ask students to list and describe the products exported by their home area.
How Good an Idea Is Industrialization? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of industrialization and be ready to explain whether they think their country should industrialize further.

Money and Banking 

Opening a Bank Account (talk, Dictocomp): Describe for students the steps for opening a bank account in the target country. (Variation: Tell students that you want to open a bank account. Ask them to walk you through the process of opening an account at a local bank). 
Financing a Home (talk): Explain how one normally goes about financing a home in the target country. (Alternative: Talk about financing a child's university education.)
Borrowing Money (classroom chat): Ask students how one normally goes about borrowing money in their country, and for what purposes people are most likely to borrow money.
Credit Cards (debate): Have students debate whether wide use of credit cards is good or bad for a society.

Medical Care

Seeing a Doctor (classroom chat): Ask students to explain the steps involved in seeing a doctor at a clinic or hospital in their country.
Medical Insurance (Show and Tell): Bring medical insurance forms or records to class to show students.
Home Remedies (classroom chat): Ask students about home remedies their parents or grandparents use to cure various ailments.
To Tell the Truth (debate): Is it better to tell dying patients who have incurable diseases the truth about their condition or to encourage them to believe that they might recover?
Staying Alive (pair or small-group task): Have groups decide on the five most important health tips they would give to a foreigner visiting their country.
Cure for the Common Cold (survey): Have students survey each other on the best steps to take if you have a cold, fever, or stomachache.
No Smoking? (debate): Have students debate the questions: Should smoking be restricted? If so, how? (Variation: Have students debate whether access to alcohol should be restricted and, if so, how.)
Government or Private Insurance? (debate):  Have students debate about whether health insurance should be provided by the government or private companies. Make note of the arguments that you find most convincing, and close by sharing your own views on the issue.

Law and Order

Keeping the Peace (talk): Give a talk introducing the various law enforcement agencies in the target country and what they do. For closure, ask students to tell you about the law enforcement agencies in their country.
The Death Penalty I (pair or small-group task): Have students list the societal advantages and disadvantages of capital punishment.
The Death Penalty II (debate): Have students debate whether it is good for a society to have capital punishment.
Behind Bars (talk): Give a talk about prisons in the target country.
A Lawyer-to-Be? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages (or disadvantages) of a career as a lawyer (or policeman, judge, etc.).
Behind Bars? (pair or small-group task): First have students list alternatives to prison as a strategy for dealing with criminals. Then have them list the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

Science and Technology

A Famous Scientist (talk): Give a talk about a famous scientist (or inventor, etc.) from the target country.
Cultivating Scientists (pair or small-group task): Tell students that their local government is exploring ways to promote technological innovation in order to boost the local economy and wants advice on how to train young people so that more of them will become good scientists, inventors, and technicians. Then have pairs or groups of students come up with a set of recommendations for their local government. For closure, have the class decide which are the three best recommendations.
How We Train Scientists (talk): Give a talk on training scientists in the target country.
Research (classroom chat): Ask students how and in what kinds of institutions scientific research is carried on in their country, and what the most famous centers of scientific research and learning are in their country.
A Better Mousetrap (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: If you could invent one new thing, what would it be?
A Scientist-to-Be? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages (or disadvantages) of a career as a scientist.
Famous Scientists (pair or small-group task): Have students list several of the most famous and important scientists in their country—past and present—and be ready to explain to you who these people were and why they are important.
Cell Phones (debate): Have students debate whether the increasing use of mobile phones is more advantageous or disadvantageous for society.
The Magic Bullet? (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: Can technology solve most of society's problems?
Star Trek? (pair or small-group task): Start by noting that more and more countries are developing space programs. Then have groups list the advantages and disadvantages for a country of having a space program. Finally, have them decide whether the costs are greater than the benefits.

Computers and the Web

Computers in Local Life (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about the role of computers in their country today. (E.g., How easy is it to buy one? How much do they cost? Are there places you can use one? How many people have computers? How prevalent is computer knowledge? How fast is computer use growing?)
Giving Computer Directions (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to explain to you step-by-step in English how to write and send an e-mail message (or visit a website, etc.), beginning with turning the computer on. As they prepare, help them with computer-related vocabulary. When the first volunteer group reports, stand in front of the class and do exactly what the group tells you to do. If you have a computer that can serve as a visual aid, fine. If not, pretend. As new computer-related words come up, write them on the board and explain how they are used. For closure, review the new words and have students use them in a sentence. (Note: Before this activity, check to see whether they know enough about the relevant computer operation to do the activity.)
Word Processing (classroom chat): Ask students to explain how to do word processing in their language.
A Bad Computer Day (talk): Tell a story about an amusing or disastrous experience you had with computers. For closure, review computer-related vocabulary from the story.
Computers—Blessing or Bane? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the societal advantages and disadvantages of the increase in computer availability and use. (Alternative: Discuss advantages and disadvantages of the growing use of the Internet.)
Apple vs PC (interview): Have students interview a few classmates on whether they prefer an Apple computer or a PC. You can follow up by asking if a particular computer is better for some things more than others. (This activity is best done in a local context where students are likely to have had experience using both computer types).
Computers in Kindergarten? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether schools should teach children to use computers and, if so, starting at what age.
Shareware? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether computer software should be freely available to the public (shareware) or whether people should be required to pay for it.

News and Information

The Daily News (talk): Give a talk about the news industry in the target country. What are the main outlets for news? What kind of news does each tend to focus on? 
Local Newspapers (classroom chat): Have students tell you what the various newspapers are in your host city and describe what is special about each.
What’s in a Newspaper? (classroom chat): Have students tell you about the typical organization of a newspaper in the host country, what kinds of pages there are (e.g., news pages, sports pages) and what kinds of items are normally found on each.
Our Local Papers (talk): Give a talk about the different kinds of newspapers in the target country or community, and describe what is special about each kind.
How Do You Stay in Touch? (survey): Have students survey each other on how they normally get their news (e.g., websites, TV, newspapers, word of mouth).
All the News That's Fit to Print? (pair or small-group task): Have students list and prioritize the five most important kinds of information that should be published on news websites and five kinds of information that should be given minimal coverage.

Religion and Philosophy

The Legacy of the Sage (pair or small-group task): Have students discuss how much impact one or more of the important thinkers of their country's past has on their culture today.
Local Religions 101 (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to explain to you the main religions in their country and the main beliefs of each.
A Traditional Religion (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to introduce in detail one of their country's main traditional schools of thought to you.
Traditional Religion Today (classroom chat): Have students tell you about the impact on culture and daily life of traditional religion in their country.

Languages and Dialects

What’s in a Dialect? (classroom chat): Have students explain to you what dialect differences exist in their country and how great these are. Are there only small accent differences? Does vocabulary differ? How easily can people from different regions communicate with each other?
English Only? (talk): Give a talk about a current language-related issue in the target country (e.g., bilingual education, English-only vs multilingualism).
Local Language Policy (classroom chat): Have students introduce the language policies of their country to you. Is a national standard language promoted? If so, how? Is there more than one official language? 
High School French (talk): Tell students about which foreign languages students in the target country most often learn and why.
A Social Language Map (pair or small-group task, in multilingual host countries): Have students list the situations in which people would normally speak the country's standard or national language and the situations in which they would normally speak some other language or dialect. (To describe a setting, have students consider who is speaking to whom, where, under what circumstances, and on what topic.)
Should We Care About Endangered Languages? (pair or small-group task): Do some research about endangered languages and then give a short talk on the issue. After the talk, have students discuss whether people should care about language endangerment in the same way people worry about the extinction of animals or the loss of biodiversity.

Social Problems

The Best Way to… (survey): Have students survey each other on the following questions:

What is the best way to combat drug use and addiction?
What is the best way to deal with juvenile crime?
What is the best way to combat illiteracy?
What is the best way to alleviate poverty?
What is the best way to prevent children from dropping out of school?
What is the best way to deal with unemployment?

Environment and Ecology

To Dam or Not? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of building dams on major rivers. 
Don't Be a Litterbug (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students come up with a plan for an antilitter campaign.
Global Warming (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether they think global warming is really a serious problem and what, if anything, should be done about it.
The Last of the Tigers? (pair or small-group task): Is it really important to protect endangered species? If so, why? If not, why not? Have students discuss and prepare a response.
Development or Environment? (debate): Have students debate which is more important—economic development or environmental protection. For closure, discuss the following questions: Is there necessarily a trade-off between economic development and environmental protection? Can a society have both?
Jobs or Clean Air? (debate): Have students debate this question: Should polluting industries that will bring in jobs be encouraged?

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Module 6: Arts, Entertainment, and Media

Movies

What Is Your Favorite Movie? (survey): Have each student ask several others what their favorite movies are. (If they only know the film title in their first language, they should do their best to translate it into English.) For closure, have a few volunteers report, and as films are mentioned, have the rest of the class rate them with a quick voice vote.
What Kinds of Films Does the Teacher Like? (press conference): Have students interview you about your favorite films.
Local Movies (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about some popular films made in the host culture, translating the titles into English and telling you about the plots and why the films were popular.
Movie Stars (pair or small-group task): Have students list their country's top movie stars and be prepared to explain to you why each is popular.
My Idol (talk): Give a talk about one or more movie stars you really like and why.

Music

Music Education (pair or small-group task): Have students design a curriculum for music in elementary (or middle) schools. They should decide things such as what kind of musical training students should be given (e.g., singing, instruments, or music appreciation); whether musical training should be required or optional; where and how music would be taught in the curriculum (e.g., outside class or in a special music class); and how much time each week should be devoted to music. 
Music in Local Schools (classroom chat): Ask students about music education in local schools.
Local Musical Instruments (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you about traditional folk instruments in their culture.
Piano Lessons (talk): Give a talk describing experiences you—or someone you know—had learning to play a musical instrument.
Funding for the Arts? (debate): Have students debate the following question: Should classical (or traditional) music be financially supported by the government?
A Folk Song (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to teach you a local folk song in English. They will need to translate the song—or perhaps the first verse—into English. For closure, have the class decide which group's translation is most aesthetically pleasing.
Local Classical (classroom chat): Have students tell you about the most famous pieces of classical (traditional) music in their culture. Also, ask how popular this music is in their culture now.
Should Pop Rule the Roost? (debate): Have students debate the following question: Is the growth of an international, modern pop style of music good?

Television

Your Favorite TV Programs (survey): Have students ask each other what their favorite TV programs are. If they don't know how to say the name of a program in English, they should try to explain it.
TV Viewership (classroom chat): Ask students how much TV most people in the host country watch and who watches most.
How Do You Watch TV? (classroom chat): Increasingly more people are watching TV shows on technology other than the traditional TV set. Ask your students to list different ways that people watch TV shows in the local culture. Ask students to list the benefits and disadvantages to having more ways to watch TV shows. 
Lock on the Box? (debate): Have students debate whether parents should limit the amount of time per day children watch TV. (Alternative: Discuss whether parents should put limits on the kinds of shows children are allowed to watch.)

Advertising

Your Favorite Ad (survey): Have students survey each other on these questions: What are your favorite advertisements? What ads do you like least?
An Effective Ad (survey): Have students survey each other on the key qualities of an effective advertisement.
Ad Genres? (pair or small-group task): First have students list the most common types (genres) of advertisements in their country. Then have them choose one, analyze it, and be ready to explain how it works.
Can You Trust an Ad? (debate): Have students debate this question: Are advertisements totally untrustworthy? 

Sports and Games

Your Favorite Sport (survey): Have students survey classmates on which sports they enjoy watching the most.
Popular Sports (classroom chat): Have students tell you about the most popular and widely watched sports in their country.
Popular Sports Back Home (press conference): Have students interview you about what sports are popular in the target country.
Curling  (talk): Give a talk about a sport in the target country that is not widely known.
A Good Spectator Sport (pair or small-group task): Have pairs or groups of students decide—in order of importance—the key elements of a good spectator sport.
If the Host Country Were a Sport… (pair or small-group task): Have students decide what sport best symbolizes their country and be ready to explain why.
The Home Team (talk): Give a talk about how sports teams are trained in the target country.
Pay for Play? (debate): Have students debate whether the government should financially support sports teams for the Olympics or whether Olympic athletes should find private funding.
Monopoly (Show and Tell): Bring in Monopoly or some other typical game from the target country to show and explain to students.
Children's Games (pair or small-group task): Have students list five popular children's games in their culture and be ready to teach you one.
Party Games (classroom chat): Ask students if adults in their culture play party games and, if so, what they are.
Phys Ed or Just Playing Around? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether it is important for schools to stress sports—especially during school time.

Theater

Plays or Films? (survey): Have students survey classmates on whether they think it is better to watch movies or plays, and why. You can wrap up by stating what you think are the benefits of watching both films and plays. 
Famous Plays (classroom chat): Have students introduce their culture's most famous plays to you.
Theater in My Country (talk): Give a talk on theater in the target country.
An Actor's Life (survey): Have students survey each other on these questions: Would you want to be a professional actor? Why or why not? Would you want your child to become an actor?
Stage or Silver Screen? (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: If you were an actor, would you rather do plays or films?

Dance

Do You Like to Dance? (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: Do you like to dance? If so, what kind of dancing do you like?
Dancing in the Local Culture (classroom chat): Have students teach you about one or more local dances, explaining in words as much as possible (rather than just showing you the movements). After the explanation, you might ask one or more brave students to show dance movements to you. 
Dancing in My Country (talk): Give a talk about the different kinds of dancing that are popular in the target country.
Shall They Dance? (pair or small-group task): Have students try to reach a consensus on whether children should be taught in school to dance. For closure, tell students about the role of dance in public education in the target country.

Reading and Literature

What Do You Like to Read? (survey): Have students survey others about what they like to read and why.
Where Can I Get a Magazine? (classroom chat): Ask students about the different places people in their country buy books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading material, and what kind of reading material each place sells. (The answers may be somewhat different than in the target country.) Also ask where you could find reading material in English.
What Makes Great Great? (pair or small-group task): Have students list, in order of priority, the criteria for determining whether a work of literature is great.
Traditional Story Characters (classroom chat): Ask students about their country's most popular traditional stories and their characters.
The Funniest Book (survey): Have students survey each other on the funniest (or most boring, etc.) book they have ever read.
You've Got to Read This (pair or small-group task): Have students decide on an answer to this question: If you could recommend one book to a foreigner who wants to learn about the host country, what would it be and why?
Books You Must Know (classroom chat): Ask students what works of literature virtually every person in their country would know about.
Famous Story (talk): Tell—or read aloud—a famous story from the target culture. (Alternative: Tell about famous characters from novels.)
What Sells? (classroom chat): Ask students what kinds of books are most popular—that is, sell best—in their country.
Formula for Success (pair or small-group task): Have students describe the formula for a popular genre of book (e.g., detective stories, romances).

Art

My Least Favorite Art Form (survey): Have students survey each other on what form of art they find least interesting and appealing, and why.
Art for Art's Sake? (debate): Have students debate this question: Should the value of art be determined primarily on the basis of its social impact (art for the sake of serving society) or its artistic merits (art for art's sake)? For closure, share your own opinion or the prevailing views in the target country.
The Making of an Artist (talk): Describe how artists are trained in the target country.
To Make an Artist (pair or small-group task): Have groups discuss the best way to train artists and come up with a plan.

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Module 7: Teaching and Education

Getting an Overview

Our School System (classroom chat): Ask students to introduce the school system in their country, starting with kindergarten (or the equivalent) and then moving on up. You might chart the system and put new vocabulary on the board.
My School (Show and Tell): Bring pictures of one or more schools you have attended. For a more balanced picture of schools in the target country, bring in pictures of other (nice and not-so-nice) schools as well.
Do You Like Language Learning? (survey): Have students survey each other on this question: What do you like most (least) about language study?
What Is the Best Way to…? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the five best tips they can think of for how to

° learn a language.
° improve listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
° improve grammar in writing and speaking.
° improve reading speed and comprehension.
° study for a test.
° memorize vocabulary.
° learn about a foreign culture.

Primary School and Before

Parents’ Choice? (pair or small-group task): Start by asking students what, in their country, determines which primary school a student will go to. Then have students discuss the following questions: Should all children just go to the closest school? Should parents have some choice as to what school their child goes to? Should the choice be based on some kind of testing? The groups should try to arrive at consensus and be ready to explain their view to the class.
Learning to Read (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you how children in the host country are taught to read. (This question is especially in interesting if your host country uses a writing system that is unfamiliar to you.)
English in Primary School? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide whether they think children in the host country should start learning English in primary school.

Secondary School

A Typical Student's Day (pair or small-group task): Tell students you want to learn more about the lives of students in their country, and ask them to write out a typical daily schedule for a secondary school student. When groups report, have the first group suggest the first item of the day and approximate time for it. Quickly check this with the rest of the class. Then have the next group report the next item of the day, and so on. Write this composite schedule on the board as students report. 
Secondary School My Way (Talk): Tell students what courses are typically offered in secondary schools in the target country. Points to comment on might include how much choice students have in what courses they take and what the requirements of a typical course are.
The Curve (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you what a typical grade curve looks like in a secondary school in their country.
Courses (classroom chat): Ask students to list the courses usually offered in a secondary school curriculum in their country and tell you which are considered most important.
After-School Activities (classroom chat): Ask students what extracurricular activities schools in the host country usually offer.
How Much Homework Is Reasonable? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide how much homework per night they think is reasonable for secondary school students. For closure, ask them what kind of homework is most important and useful to secondary school students.
The Exams (classroom chat): Ask students what kinds of standardized examinations and other tests students in the host country face. Also, ask how teachers typically go about evaluating students.
Heading off Failure (pair or small-group task): First, ask students how a teacher in their country normally handles a situation in which a student is headed toward failing a course. Then have them decide in groups whether they think this is the best approach. If so, why? If not, what would be better?
School Fees (classroom chat): Ask students to list for you the costs involved in secondary school education.
After Secondary School? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the options for students at the end of secondary school and be ready to explain each. They should also be ready to tell you roughly what percentage of students take each option and how it is generally viewed (i.e., how desirable it is). For closure, summarize what students have told you.

University

A Typical College Day (classroom chat): Ask students to describe the typical day of a college or university student in the host country.
The Class Curve (classroom chat): Ask students what a typical college or university grade curve looks like in the host country and what happens if students get failing grades.
What Does an English Major Really Need? (pair or small-group task): Have students make a proposal for an English department on which courses should be required and which should be elective. They should be ready to justify their ideas.
Getting Into College (talk): Explain the process in the target country for choosing and getting into a college or university. 
University for Everyone? (debate): Have students debate whether or not everyone should attend university. What are the benefits to the society for everyone to have a high level of education, and what are the costs? 
Thinking Critically (pair or small-group task): Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to come up with a definition of critical thinking. Ask one person from each group to write their definition on the board. As a class, try to come to a consensus of what critical thinking is. After reaching consensus, have students discuss in their original groups how the activities they have done in your or other classes have helped them develop critical thinking skills and what kinds of activities they think can help develop these skills. 
Continuing Education? (classroom chat): Ask students to tell you what continuing education opportunities exist in the host country.
Guide to Getting Into College (pair or small-group task): Have students prepare to describe to you, step-by-step, the process for choosing and getting into a college or university in the host country.
Beyond the Major (classroom chat): Ask students how many and what courses students are generally expected to take outside their major.
College Football? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide what role they think sports should play in university life. Should there be college teams for intercollegiate competition? Should there be only intramural sports? Or should the college sponsor no sports at all?
Are Tests the Best? (pair or small-group task): Have students decide which methods university teachers should use to evaluate students. Are tests the best way?
Getting Into Graduate School (classroom chat): Have students explain to you the process for getting into graduate school in the host country.
Paying for College (press conference): Have students interview you about the costs involved in university or graduate school education and how students generally pay these costs. For closure, have students tell you how this is handled in the host country.

Teachers

A Good Teacher (pair or small-group task): Have students list and prioritize the most important characteristics of a good teacher.
Getting Ahead as a Teacher (press conference): Have students interview you on how teachers in the target country get promoted.
The Big Class (pair or small-group task): Ask students to imagine they are giving advice to a Western English teacher who has never taught a large class (40 students or more) before. In groups, they should prepare a list of advice, each given as a sentence completion: “You should…”, “You should not…”. Have them be ready to present their advice and explain why it is important.
To Be Strict or Lenient? (pair or small-group task): Have students list the advantages and disadvantages of teachers being strict and of teachers being lenient. Then have each group decide whether it is better to err on the side of being too strict or too lenient

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Appendix D

Internet Resources for Teachers and Learners

Note: Links in the PDF are clickable.

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