At the ELC, we have students from all over the world. Even though you may be from the same country as some students, your cultural backgrounds may be very different. The place you grew up in and received education in and the different groups you belong to have shaped you into a unique person. Every one of us has a different cultural background.
While we are surrounded by people from different cultures, it is important for us to know how similar or different we are. Understanding your own culture can help you feel more centered or grounded. The same is true when we understand more about our friends’ cultures. Therefore, this lesson’s focus is connecting mindfully to your own culture and keeping an open and compassionate mindset while learning about other cultures.
Write the questions on the board or include them on PowerPoint slides. Have students discuss the following questions:
Explain to students that learning about other cultures shows people respect. As you learn about the culture of the place you live in, you will be able to adapt to living there faster and make friends easier. There will also be fewer misunderstandings and conflicts in the community.
Have the students watch this video.
Before watching the video, ask them to talk about the following questions with a partner.
Remind them to be respectful of all cultures while watching the video.
Show them the questions beforehand so that they can think about them while watching the video. Include the instructions on the slide.
Discuss the following questions with a partner:
Explain to students that there are differences even within one culture. We have the advantage of getting to know about other cultures at the ELC. In groups of three, brainstorm some ways to show respect to one another when discussing others’ cultures. Write those ways on the board and discuss them as a class.
One way to learn about other cultures is by talking to people from other countries. Remember, it is important to maintain respect while discussing others’ cultures.
Fluency Circle: Half of the class will form an inner circle facing the outside while half of the class is the outer circle facing a partner. Inner circle students will start interviewing their partners on different aspects of their partner’s culture for two minutes. They need to take notes on a piece of paper.
Include the following questions on the slides or a handout. Ask students to write their partners’ answers on a piece of paper.
After the inner circle students are done, it is the outer circle students’ turn to interview for two minutes.
After that, ask the outer circle students to take a step in the right direction and talk to a different partner. Have the inner circle students tell their new partners (two minutes) about their old partner’s culture using the interview information that they recorded before. Afterward, have the outer circle students do the same thing.
Explain to the students that since we all grew up in different environments, we often have assumptions about things. Therefore, we need to talk to others to learn about their points of view. Communication is the key to understanding other cultures.
Have students watch a video. Include the following questions on a slide. While watching the video, pay attention to the following questions:
Discuss the questions with a partner or as a class.
If time allows, have students watch another video on cultural differences.
Explain to students that so far we have learned about the dining customs and education system in different countries. There are still many things included in cultures. We are going to learn about greetings from around the world. Have students watch this video with traditional greeting gestures from different countries and discuss the following questions with a partner afterward. While watching the video, think about the following questions:
Explain to students that although it is important to learn about other cultures, taking the initiative (being the first one) to share their cultures with others is also beneficial. Encourage them to not be afraid of talking about their cultures.
Complete the following task:
Have students talk to someone from a different culture and find out something interesting that they didn’t know before. Have them write down what they find to share with classmates on Thursday.
Discussion question: “Once you understand and appreciate other people’s cultural backgrounds, then you can also connect with them more.”
Share thoughts about the following questions with a partner.
Have students find a song they enjoy from their country, from the US, or from any country. Have them play part of their song to a partner, then switch and have them listen to their partner’s song. Have them tell what country their song is from and what type of music it is. Also, have them share why they like that particular style of music.
Divide students into groups of 3-5. Have students share what they learned about another culture through the homework.
This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.
Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/PositivePsychologyintheClassroom/cultural_mindfulness_intermediate_low.