‘My bad!!’ Cultural Faux Pas and the Lens Metaphor

This activity is tailored for students of Diplomacy and International Communication studies. However, it can be adapted for any level of the ESL classroom. Students will be divided into pairs and presented with roles (laminated texts) with a cultural dilemma or conflict.  Each student will be from a different culture and must find a way to resolve the conflict they are in while seeing the other through their cultural lens. Students will resolve the conflict by implementing active listening strategies and by reasoning through the ladder of inference. The pairs will present their role play in class, resolve the conflict, and be evaluated by their peers and the facilitator.

The One Eyed Man is King

Using the story “The Country of the Blind”, students will gain persuasion skills through inquiry and acknowledgment while understanding what it means to be disabled in society. They will gain important listening skills while learning how disability is a matter of perspective.

Around the World in 90 minutes

Using the skills of negotiation learned through NESI, students get the chance to express themselves in a clearer and more coherent manner. In this timed-mile pressure activity, students will gain knowledge of foreign cultures. Through group activity, each group gets cards with famous rituals or laws of a certain country. Students then try and discuss them by each trying to express his/ her opinion on them. In this activity, students negotiate culture, beliefs, laws, virtues, etc. Students try to agree on certain rituals or laws that they would wish to adopt to their own culture. Students will have to use inquiry, acknowledgment and advocacy statements in order to present what they all agreed on in front of the class.  

The Enemy: To Save an Enemy

In The Enemy, Sadao and his wife Hani find an American POW washed up on the beach in front of their house in Japan during the middle of WWII.  Sadao as a doctor, cannot allow the man to die.  So he takes him back to his home.  This causes a giant conflict with the servants that work for Sadao.  Eventually, after a week, the servants quit.  In this lesson, students will read the script of the conflict between Sadao and Hanni vs. the Servants.  Then the students will complete a ladder of inference.

Too Young

This activity will have students debating over the controversial story of a thirteen-year-old girl sailing around the world alone. The aim of analyzing this story is to express supporting details and use good examples to persuade why or why not she should be allowed to sail alone at the age of thirteen. Furthermore, enable students to be exposed to unfamiliar situations, people, and global life experiences. This topic has different dimensions, such as culture, religion, traditions, fear, freedom, motives, and others.

The Road Not Taken (or Maybe Taken)?

The activity has a few stages. It focuses on the poem but also asks the students to imagine that they must choose a path: enlist to the army or go on studying after high-school graduation. Stage 1: watch a video about the poem. Stage 2: LOTS+HOTS questions in order to make sure the poem is clear. Stage 3: role-play activity in order to practice negotiation/decision making/understanding the other’s point of view. Stage 4: summarize using Linoit or Mentimeter. 

Let’s Scale Down the Jury’s Ladder

Using ‘The Ladder of Inference’, and the process of inquiry, acknowledgment, and advocacy, students will learn how to evaluate the decision-making process of the Twelve Jurors who must reach a unanimous verdict. 

I hear what you’re saying, but…

In this activity, students will explore the practice of active listening in a role-play situation. Every unit in the EFL textbooks deals with issues that can be adapted to role-plays on questioning, listening, and acknowledging. The following activity is suitable for junior high and high school students (CEFR proficiency A2-B2). It can be done in the classroom, virtually, or a combination of the two (hybrid classroom situation).

Class Conflicts

The students will divide into pairs to discuss a conflict given to them by the teacher.  The conflicts could be from their everyday life in school, such as problems they have suggested for the home-room teacher to solve. The activity aims for the students to practice solving their own problems by themselves instead of defaulting to relying on the teacher or other people.