Activities for Brian and Aziz Movie
Vocabulary words for Focus Activity
Expectation – what you think will happen
Relationship – connection
Bump – to touch accidentally
Brian and Aziz: A Summary
In this movie, Brian (from the USA) and Aziz (from the Middle East)
are two young men who study together. As the movie begins, Brian is
going to visit Aziz at Aziz’s home. They both hope to learn more about
the other one.
However, their culture bumps prevent them from becoming friends.
As you watch the movie, try to identify as many culture bumps for
both young men as possible.
*culture bump: cultural difference
Reading on The Culture Bump: A Summary
When we go to live in a new country, we see some things that are the same as in our country. But we see some things that are different. When we see things, hear things, smell things or touch things that are different than in our country, we have a “culture bump.” If we do not understand our “culture bumps”, we can have a problem living in the new culture. If we do understand our “culture bumps”, we can have better and stronger friendships with other people in the new country.
When we have a culture bump, we get an idea (or a perception) about the other person. Sometimes, these ideas are not good because we don’t understand the culture bump. For example, in the movie, Brian and Aziz, Aziz and Mazen said that Americans are cold and unfriendly and Brian and his friend said that Middle Easterners are untrustworthy. These ideas came from their culture bumps with one another.
Aziz knew that Americans are different, but he didn’t think about Brian not shaking hands with Mazen when Mazen came into the house. He also didn’t think about Brian leaving to go study and not staying to eat with him and Mazen. Neither he nor Mazen understand Americans the way other Americans do.
Brian knew that Arabs are different, but he didn’t think about Aziz having lots of “real” food. He also didn’t think about decorating the house in a different way. Neither he nor his friend understands Middle Easterners the way other Middle Easterners do. Sometimes, we like the differences or the culture bumps; sometimes, we don’t like the culture bumps, and sometimes, we are accustomed to them. It is not important if we like or don’t like them; it is important to learn to recognize our culture bumps and separate the culture bump from the idea or perception.
Brian talked to his friend on the phone about Aziz and Mazen and said he didn’t trust them. Mazen and Aziz talked together after Brian left the house and said they can’t trust one another. This is called “mirroring”. Mirroring is talking about other people with people from our own culture.
1. Do you think you can live in another country and not have culture bumps? Is this a
2. Why do you think that Mazen, who has lived in the United States for seven years,
does not understand Americans?
3. Do you mirror with your friends
Observation: Judgment or Description?
Look at the two posters of the Korean wedding and the elderly woman on a four-wheeler.
Make a list of all the vocabulary words that you do not know. Ask your classmates or teacher for words for objects in the photos that you do not know. For example, wordssuch as house shoes, helmet, roof, handlebars, gloves, railing.
How do you address an older person in the United States? How do you show respect to elderly people in the USA?
Culture Bump Trivia
Read the Trivia cards in a small group and answer the questions. How do you show the commonality in your culture?
Use the vocabulary words below to help you understand the stories on the cards.
Trivia (the game)
Counter – in a store
To frown – Using the face to show displeasure or unhappiness
Elderly – a polite word to describe people who are 70 years old or older
To emerge – to come out of
To grasp – to hold
Elbow – the place in the middle of the arm where the arm bends
Disgust – to dislike
Request – to ask for
“to show regard for” – to show respect for
consideration – respect
to approach – to come close to
“to feel hurt” – to feel unhappy because someone says or does something unkind
assigned – to appoint, to tell someone to do something
to adjust – to adapt
to be withdrawn – to not want to talk or participate
elegance – dignified beauty
spiritual – having to do with the spirit
to offend – to be disrespectful
to poke – to hit with the finger
double-take- to look at something/someone twice because you are so surprised
to lean forward – to bow
the corner of your eye – the side of your eye
route – the way to go someplace
curb – the side of the street –
authority – the one in charge, the leader
inclusive – to include
acknowledge – to tell someone that they did well
Grammar: Prepositions and Writing
Choose one of the following comparisons for the sentences.
The same as, different from, better than, worse than, more than, less than
1. Hospitality in the Middle East is_________________hospitality in the United
2. Mazen’s language is____________________Aziz’s language.
3. Aziz thinks those neighbors in his country are_____________________his
neighbors in the United States.
4. Brian trusts his friend___________________he trusts Aziz.
5. In the second ending, Brian’s discomfort is__________________his discomfort in
the first ending.
Write a paragraph comparing one of these subjects.
Hospitality in my country and in the USA
Teachers in my country and in the USA
Food in my country and in the USA
Mini–movie “She’s so fine”
click on the video, Mexican/American Culture Bump (She’s so fine).
The video introduces the idea of a culture bump in a humorous way. A
list of vocabulary words used in the video are listed below. With a classmate, find the meaning for each of the words.
Hitting on (someone)
Its not the way they should go about doing
We were just walking down the hall
It doesn’t translate very well into American culture
When someone just comes randomly up to you
Take it easy
Shoot and score
To get you down
Webpage Chad/American Culture Bump (Men andWomen)
Note: This activity probably requires an
upper beginning level of English. The steps on this
website should be used at lower intermediate level.
Have students volunteer to read the various roles in
Ramadan – a student from Chad
Jennifer – a student from the USA
Mazen – a student from the Middle East
Sara – a student from the USA
Melina – a student from Chad
With a classmate, find the meanings for these words
To get together
Let me write down my number
Get this studying out of the way
Work in retail
Flirting with you
Interpreted your behavior
That makes sense
Asking me out
It doesn’t necessarily mean that