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.

Discussion questions:

 1. Do you think you can live in another country and not have culture bumps? Is this a

good thing?

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, words

such 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. 

                                                               Vocabulary words

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


Minimovie “She’s so fine”

Go to:\cultureb-world.htm

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)

So Fine



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



Stay cool

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.

Go to:

Have students volunteer to read the various roles in

the storyline:


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

Body language

That makes sense



Asking me out

It doesn’t necessarily mean that