Module Four works well for beginning to intermediate ESL level
students if certain adaptations are implemented. Suggested
adaptions are listed below.
Suggestions for the focus activity
Vocabulary words and transcript of Dr. Archer’s video introduction to the module
Vocabulary words and summary of a reading on Communication Across Cultures
Transcript of Dr. Archer’s video introduction to the next section of the module
Vocabulary words and summary of a Reading on Different Styles of Communication in Different Cultures
Suggestions for Activities of “Give me a hand” and Final Reflection
Grammar: Focus using photos as stimulus
This focus activity at the beginning of the module needs little or no adaptation for ESL students.
However, it can be expanded to include specific cultural messages in the following
exercise. Bring old magazines into class for this exercise. For beginning level
students, the photos serve as wonderful stimulus for vocabulary development. For
example, in Photo C, baby, sofa, cans, shelves, diaper as well as any other words that
students do not know.
You may want to simplify the exercise to the following:
This is a good opportunity to teach the concept of reported speech and the use of
Instructions: In pairs or in triads, go through the magazines and cut
out five photographs that are interesting to you. Answer the
questions about each of the five photographs.
This is the same as in my country.
This is different from in my country.
Follow-up activity: Look for photographs from “back home”. Bring
them to class and explain the message in the photographs.
Vocabulary Words and transcript of Dr. Archer’s video introduction
The emphasis – the most important
The focus activity – the activity or exercise at the
beginning that shows you what
to pay attention to.
Demonstrate – to show
Now as you watch the video, listen for the vocabulary words.
Hello. In Module four, you’ll continue to look at cultural differences, but the emphasis will be on communication. In the focus activity, you began to notice that messages could be communicated non-verbally. In the next reading, you’ll learn more about the way that we human beings communicate as well as the ways that we sometimes “culture bump” in our communication.
NOTE: The discussion questions need to be explained for this level of
student. Make sure they understand that communication in this exercise and in this
chapter is not asking about their English ability or pronunciation. One way is to ask
them if they are a good communicator in their own language.
A Reading on Communication Across Cultures
To transmit – to go from one to another
Complex – complicated, difficult
Readily – easily
Cue – hint
Timorous – fearful or shy
Suggestive – sexy
Slump – to sit or stand in a non-erect way, with shoulders and head down
Fatigued – tired
To suck – to breathe air into the mouth quickly with a small noise
Summary of A Reading on Communication Across Cultures
Communication is very complicated. People communicate all
the time, even when they do not talk. There are three ways
to communicate. One is called Verbal language. Verbal
language is using words for speaking or writing. It is
grammar, spelling, speaking, writing and reading. The
second way is Paralanguage. Paralanguage is speaking
quickly or slowly, loudly or softly or silence. The third way
is nonverbal language. Nonverbal language is using our
hands, our faces, and even our clothes to communicate.
Sometimes, when people from one culture speak to people
from another culture, they are confused because the nonverbal
or paralanguage is different. People really pay
attention to non-verbal and paralanguage more than verbal
Transcript of Dr. Archer’s introduction to the next section of the module
Now that you’ve learned about different ways of
communicating and mis-communicating, the culture bump
experts will demonstrate some different styles of
communication. Lets watch.
Reading on Different Styles in Different Cultures
Tend to be – probably is
Context – the surrounding, the environment
Loops – small circles
Gut instinct – feeling that something is true without knowing for sure
Process – to think about, to come to understand something
A Summary of A Reading on Different Styles of Communication
in Different Cultures
People from different cultures like to use different styles of communication. One
style is called Looping Style. In looping styles, people spend a lot of time talking
about other things before they come to the point of the conversation. (See drawing
on page 35). In other cultures, people talk very quickly about their main idea. This
is called non-looping style. People in some cultures do not speak about everything.
They think other people know already what they are thinking. These are called
high-context styles. In low-context styles, people say everything. They are not sure
if other people know what they know or not. In silent styles, people can be silent for
long periods of time. In other cultures, people do not like to be silent. In some
cultures people can talk at the same time and understand everybody. These are
called polychronic styles. In monochronic cultures, people take turns to talk.
Give me a Hand
This activity was originally designed for ESL students and
serves to point out the differences in non-verbal messages.
The greater the variety of cultures in the classroom, the better.
The cartoon format works well with ESL students. Make sure
that students know the term “thought bubbles.”.
An alternative speaking exercise is to have four students role-play
the Brian and Akira cartoon. Two students play Brian and Akira and
act-out and speak their words. The other two students “pop-up”
as their thoughts. Break the rest of the class into groups of four
and have them role-play Akira and Maria and their thoughts. This
is a good structured activity for speaking as well as writing. It
works very well for students who are uncomfortable in front of a
class because it is so structured.