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euro culture for beginner-intermer level esl -activity ideas

 
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riva



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: euro culture for beginner-intermer level esl -activity ideas Reply with quote

hi all, i've just started teaching a european culture class in china, although i previously knew quite little about this area of study...

at the moment we are working on christianity and the bible. i am telling the class some stories from the old testament and intend to then move on to the new testament shortly...

my students all tell me that they want to have class debates but as they are quite low level english speakers and they don't have any topic ideas of their own, i am really stumped for ideas...

does anyone have any debate topic ideas for this sort of class or any other ideas for games and activities to throw a bit of life into euro culture lessons/christian unit work?


ANY suggestions would be immensely appreciated!
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sbourque



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 158
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what "European culture" involves--I'm American, but it sounds as though you are introducing your students to "Western" culture.

You might talk about the Western emphasis on individual development and achievements vs. the Chinese emphasis on the group (family, village, state). You might talk about whether learning English--which is fast becoming a "world language"--will weaken the influence of local cultures around the world. Should governments pass laws to make sure a certain percentage of movies, TV shows, magazines, advertisements etc. are in the local language? Of course, stay away from religious, political, and other "forbidden" topics.
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riva



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks a lot for your advice. i guess that i had not thought about taking a broad and general approach to debates / discussions in the class, it is a good idea though and i might try these questions (and others that are similar) out.

actually, though, to explain - i am working from a textbook. the text book covers specific areas (periods of time etc) such as roman and greek culture, christianity and the bible, the middle ages, modernism...

i would love to talk about modernism, surrealism, popular culture etc with my students but as it is, the class is currently up to christianity and the bible. once i have finished with this topic, we will have to move on to the middle ages.

i feel quite uncomfortable and generally weird about teaching christianity (i'm interested in the topic but not a christian myself) to my chinese students but obviously from a cultural/sociological perspective, the school believes that it is necessary.

so again, any ideas for debate topics based on christianity (from a nuteral perspective, not a pro-christian perspective!) would be great.
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