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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Celebrations & Cultural Diversity

Indeed, it's December !  Suddenly it seems that all over the world everybody is decorating their homes, streets, buying gifts and organizing trips and parties... Think again.
Of course people everywhere try harder, for a number of reasons, to have a better end of the year, despite everyone's personal struggles. 
In such globalized world though, foreign language educators had better be concerned with the
cultural diversity and distinct traditions when teaching.
The reflection I propose does not have to be dull. From my experience, I have learned that the element of entertainment can even enhance the students' aptitude to focus on the issues brought to the table by each tv serie along with the chance of learning discourse features such as sayings, slang words, intonation purpose...which are precisely what the majority of learners look for.
The idea in this article is to use the following combination as a class per se or as a complement. Simply putting it:
sitcom snippet + cultural diversity issues that will surface+ a listening exercise focusing on current language expressions.
The snippets are just the entrance door to the issues. Playing the video second time and pause at some parts so that students themselves notice them and the language features, chorus repetition and work on intonation and the meaning each chunk conveys can be a follow up approach.

 Below the sitcoms, season, episode title and counter or link when available:


s_02   "A very glee Christmas"

2:20 - 4:24       Fill in the blanks or singalong
5:15 - 6:39       Idea to raise money for children in need, resistance and endurance
30:13 - 31:28   stepping up, bullying, misunderstanding their purpose
35:00 - 38:00   Explaining their motivation, Showing students and teachers collaboration, singing a carol
The Big Bang Theory

s_07  "The one with the holiday armadillo"         
Hanukkah , Christmas

The Nanny
  s_01    "The Christmas show"

  01:23 - 02:55       gifts, believing in Santa, payment bonus expectations                                              07:03 - 13:14       gift distribution   , father can't be present                 

  s_07    "Sisters at heart"
  This episode from 1970 shows racial segregation, friendship, equality , 
  Christmas office & family gatherings

                    QR Codes with emerging language from each bit !    

                                    QR Codes_scripts

These are some suggestions. Lots of other approaches and activities can surface with your perception and creativity!

The way I see it, note-taking should be encouraged. 
If you study English on your own, try out the proposed activities too! Maybe you have stopped for a while and consider going back to classes, or just want a challenge.  ;-)

Do you know of any other sitcom passages such as the ones above? Share in the comments space below. 

Season Greetings !

Teacher Raquel