Tag Archives: culture

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Spanish ‘Smart’ City Project Saves Time, Money

B2 – Upper Intermediate

With the fast advent of technology, it had helped our lives in a tremendous way. But, have you ever heard of the word “Smart City” before?  A city that uses technology to help locals live conveniently and comfortably like finding a parking space or even checks your favorite store is open.

Read the article and learn more about how Santander aims to be a smart city.

Spanish ‘Smart’ City Project Saves Time, Money

Discuss:

1. How can drivers in Santander find out where they can find available parking spots?
2. What made all these innovations possible?
3. What do you think about the technological innovations in Santander?
4. Do you know of any other “smart” cities in the world?
5. What do you think big cities will look like in 100 years?
6. How do you think public transportation will change in the future?

Theater in the Age of Shakespeare

B1 – Intermediate

The theater has always been a great source of entertainment, amusing people for centuries. Originally began to tell stories to those who cannot read and write; the curtains opened up to showcase more than just a story. It also conveyed feelings, and information that can greatly influence the minds of its viewers.

http://www.english-online.at/history/elizabethan-theatre/shakespeares-theatre.htm

Discussion Questions:
1. Have you ever seen a play before?
2. Describe the theater in the time of Shakespeare. How is it different from the theater today?
3. How did the government receive the theater in Shakespeare’s time?
4. Describe the lives of actors in the time of Shakespeare.
5. How can the theater influence its audience?

Holidays Around the World

B1 – Intermediate

Holidays are not just a time to stay at home or do some outdoor activities. Most of the holidays that are celebrated have historical and religious significance.

Read the list of holidays celebrated in other countries and share your own.

Holidays: A Sampler From Around the World

Discuss:

1. What holidays do you enjoy celebrating?
2. Are there holidays in other countries that you wish were also celebrated in your country?
3. What are the holidays in your country that allow people to not go to work?
4. On certain holidays, do you prefer to just stay at home? Or do you enjoy going out of town?

Running Away to Escape a Marriage

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B2 – Upper intermediate

It is unfortunate, to most, that the practice of arranged marriages is still alive in some traditions. Certain Indian communities are strongly practicing it, even if the child is firmly against it.

Read the article below to know the story of one Indian girl who escaped her arranged marriage but had to face the consequences.

Jasvinder Sanghera: I ran away to escape a forced marriage

Discuss:

1. Re-tell the story of Jasvinder Sanghera. How was she able to escape?
2. According to the article, why did Jasvinder dislike being in an arranged marriage? What were the struggles she had to endure?
3. The Chinese also practice arranged marriages. How do you view this custom?
4. Discuss other traditions that you think should be discontinued.

Japan’s Legendary Female Divers

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C1 – Advanced

The Japanese are renowned for keeping most of their traditions alive. “Ama” divers is one of them. Read the article below to know what and who “ama” divers are and be ready to answer some discussion questions.

On the job with Japan’s legendary female ama divers

Discuss:

1. What kind of diving do the “ama” divers do?
2. In your country, what industries were thriving in the past but are now declining?
3. What are some traditions that your country has strongly carried through the years (food,feast, etc.)
4. What are some of the small towns in your country that local and foreign tourists like to visit because of it history and heritage?

The Culture Shock of an International Student

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Culture shock is defined as feeling confused and anxious when you visit another country or city. It happens to everyone, even to young students who are more flexible and adaptable to a new environment.

Read the article below to know about the experience of one international student.

I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock of being an international student

Discuss:

1. Have you experienced culture shock before? How did you cope with that?
2. Share an experience you had in another country.
3. What are the things that matched with your expectations before coming to a country and what things didn’t match?

Stereotypes About The Spanish That Are True

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Stereotypes are nothing new. We all have fixed ideas of different cultures. Fortunately, most of them aren’t true. The article below shows an interesting view of Spanish stereotypes that are interestingly true.

Read the different points and be ready to express your points about them.

12 Stereotypes About The Spanish That Are DEFINITELY True

Discuss:

1. What was your initial reaction when you read the title?
2. Which of the stereotypes mentioned in the article do you think are true?
3. What other Spanish stereotypes do you know of that were not mentioned?
4. Share some of the stereotypes that you have of other culture.

How to Drink Baijiu

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Have you heard of baijiu? If you’re into spirits and drinking then this is one liqueur that you might want to try.

Read the article about a Chinese drink heartily consumed by the locals. Take a look at the pictures as well and be ready to answer comprehension questions.

How to drink baijiu: Beijing’s pros share their tips

Discuss:

1. What is baijiu and how is it made? What is it made of?
2. On which occasions is baijiu the choice of drink?
3. What is baijiu tourism?
4. What are some of the local alcohol or spirits that are commonly and popularly consumed in your country?
5. What are your preferences when it comes to alcohol?

Saudi Arabia’s Cinema Ban

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C1 – Advanced

It is common knowledge to most that the Middle Eastern culture is one that comes with very rigid rules. From what women can wear to gender segregation. In Saudi Arabia, cinemas are struggling as well.

Read the article below to know more about the film industry in Saudi.

In the age of YouTube, what’s the point in Saudi Arabia’s cinema ban?

Discuss:

1. What information did the article say about the cinema ban in Saudi Arabia?
2. What did the article say about women and driving?
3. Tell me something about the author of the article.
4. What do you know about the Middle Eastern culture?
5. Would you consider travelling to the Middle East?

Festivals: Chinese New Year

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B1 – Intermediate

In most Asian countries, New Year’s is celebrated twice – in January and in February. Read the article below to know more about the Chinese New Year and some cultural traditions that the Chinese practice. Be ready to also talk about important festivals in your country.

Chinese New Year

Discuss:

1. Describe how the Chinese celebrate their New Year?
2. Have you ever seen or witnessed a dragon dance or a Lantern Festival?
3. What else do you know about the Chinese culture? How about other Asian culture?
4. What are some Spanish festivals that are very specific to a region?
5. In your country, are there any dishes or food that are especially served on certain festivals or holidays?