ESL Topics: Culture


Beginner:

1.) What culture aside from your own do you find interesting? Why?

I find American culture interesting. American movies are always amazing. Also, America is at the forefront of technology.

2.) What are some important holidays in your culture?

Chinese New Year is an important holiday. Our whole family gets together, both extended and immediate family.

3.) What foreign country influences your country's culture the most?

I think it is a toss-up between China and America.

4.) What city is the most multicultural in your country?

All cities in my country lack multiculturalism.



South Korean woman wearing Hankbok.

Intermediate:

1.) What song, garment, and food best represents your country's culture?

My home country, Canada, doesn't have a long history, So I can't think of a garment or song that best represents Canada. However, poutine is a dish that is unique to Canada, which is fries, cheese and gravy.

2.) Which person for you has had the most positive impact on your country?

For me, I think Wayne Gretzky had the greatest impact on our country. He put Canada on the map for being a leader in hockey.

3.) If people visited your country, what advice would you give them.

I would advise them to get ready to hear "sorry" a lot. Canadians can be very apologetic.



Advanced:

1.) What are some stereotypes that are often heard about your country?

A common stereotype is that Canada is always covered in snow and that we live in igloos.

2.) What do you find awkward or strange about foreigners you've crossed paths with in your life?

I've grown up surrounded by foreigners. Actually, in Canada, calling someone a foreigner can be quite offensive.

3.) Describe for me a defining moment in your country's history?

Canada does not have a long history. So it's not easy to come up with an answer. However, our contributions during World War I, Vimy Ridge helped our Allies win the war.


Match:

Match the words from column 1 with the best-suited answer in column 2.


Column 1 Column 2
1.) aside from a.) something you wear
2.) forefront b.) donation
3.) extended family c.) sorry
4.) garment d.) except for
5.) "on the map" e.) cutting edge
6.) contribution f.) to become famous for
7.) defining moment g.) The point when a situation begins to clearly start to change.
8.) apologetic h.) hurtful
9.) impact i.) cousins, aunts, uncles, etc..
10.) offensive j.) having a strong effect on someone.


Questions:

1.) How often do you see your extended family?

2.) Who played a significant role in putting your country on the global map (athlete, musician, actor, celebrity)?

3.) What technology company is at the forefront of innovation in your country?

4.) Have you made any significant changes in your life? What was the defining moment that led to change?

5.) What is the most offensive or hurtful thing you have done to someone close to you?

6.) What social issue is impacting people from your country the most?



Vocabulary:

  • aside from: Except; besides. "Aside from math, she is a good student."
  • forefront: The leading or most important position or place. "Samsung is at the forefront of virtual reality."
  • extended family: Relatives who live outside of your home. "I am going to Seoul to visit my extended family."
  • immediate family: Often referred to as your nuclear family. Your parents and siblings. "My immediate family consists of 4 people."
  • multicultural: Equal celebration of racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds within a country. "Canada, Australia, and America are renowned for their multiculturalism."
  • lack: Not having enough of something. "He is a good athlete, but he lacks motivation."
  • garment: An item of clothing. "New York is famous for its garment industry."
  • dish: A variety of food served as part of a meal. "Kimchi and rice are dishes that accompany most Korean meals."
  • impact: Have a strong effect on someone or something. "My first math teacher impacted my life so much that it lead me to pursue a degree in mathematics."
  • "on the map": To make a thing, person, or place famous. "Kim Yuna put South Korea on the map as a leader in figure skating."
  • apologetic: To be regretful and sorry. "Please forgive him, he was apologetic when I spoke to him over the phone."
  • offensive: Causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry. "My father would become very offensive when drinking."
  • "defining moment": A point or moment when something noticeably changes in a persons life or nations history. "1945, the year Korea won independence from Japan was a defining moment in Korean history." "Giving birth to my firstborn was a defining moment in my life."
  • contribution: The part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance. "King Sejong's most notable contribution to Korean history was the introduction of Hangeul."

Daily Expressions, Phrasal Verbs & Idioms:

1.) "Ancient history": Used to describe a relationship or moment that is completely over and forgotten.

"My relationship with him is ancient history, I've began dating someone else now."

2.) "The rest is history.": When everyone already knows how the story will end.

"I met her when I was a college student and she worked at a local restaurant. We fell madly in love and the rest is history."