The Intercultural Learning Hub will be undergoing maintenance on Monday, January 10, 3:00pm-5:00pm, and may not be available during that time. We apologize for any inconvenience. close

"Intercultural Activities for TESOL/TEFL" 9 posts Sort by created date Sort by defined ordering View as a grid View as a list

Language Constructs Enemies

Here's another one for TESOL teacher in training. It uses concrete examples and an inductive approach to critique the language often used in US media and other discourses to describe other cultures, turning that language back on aspects of US culture that are difficult to understand for cultural outsiders (in the vein of the classic anthropological reading, Nacirema).

0 comments 0 reposts

Language Envelopes

I love this activity. It does require face to face instruction, though, and it takes quite a bit of time to organize the materials, especially for larger groups. But, it's wonderful for highlighting semantic organizations and how they differ across cultures/languages as well as individually.

0 comments 0 reposts

Redundancia

This is not an activity I would do with ESOL learners themselves, but it is great for TESOL teacher training, especially for monolinguals or for those who haven't studied a language in good while. What a great reminder of the frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion of trying to communicate in a language you are not fluent in. It's a wonderful empathy builder for the language learner experience. I think it would also work well in the virtual context, although I haven't tried it that way.

0 comments 0 reposts

Zoom in, Zoom out

If you are trying to get your ESOL students to stop equating culture with nationality, this is a great activity to complicate their thinking. It's low tech and results in great discussions that utilize crowd-sourced geographical and cultural knowledge.

0 comments 0 reposts

Metaphors across Cultures

While we are a metaphor kick - this one would be more appropriate for advanced ESOL students unless you conducted it in their L1. It is great for highlighting the important role that language plays in constructing meaning and interpreting experience, though. 

0 comments 0 reposts

Metaphors for Culture

I am a fan of talking and thinking about culture in TESOL classrooms, and I also think it is fun to dissect language, so this one has double the appeal. It's a great powerpoint that gets learners thinking about the implications of conceptualizing culture itself in different ways: an iceberg, onion, fishbowl, glasses, etc. Great for beginners, and could be used in a mixture of L1 and L2 if need be.

0 comments 0 reposts

Mini Metaphors

This is one of my favorite ice-breaker activities, and it can also be used as a debriefing/reflection tool. It is just a collection of little charms and miniature objects, but in my experience learners love putting their hands on them. It is an instant change in atmosphere from afraid to talk to eager to explain their choices: a real conversation starter that encourages deep thinking through metaphorical connections. For this reason I think it is perfect for language learners who have so much more to say than their level of fluency and speech anxiety will sometimes let them.

0 comments 0 reposts

A Flower's Point of View

For those of you abroad in TEFL settings with classrooms that are more homogenous... From the main Digital Toolbox page (remember, under the Discover top menu), try searching a) for an Experiential Tool, b) with no external cost c) that is not kinesthetic and d) focuses on empathy. One of the search returns should be A Flower’s Point of View. We’ve had great success with this CILMAR-original tool for achieving the learning outcomes with culturally homogenous groups: 1) exercising imaginative empathy, and 2) identifying both the possibilities and limits of empathy. It is one of my favorites because it combines individual reflective creative play (in writing mode) with peer-learning through dialogue (in speaking mode).

0 comments 0 reposts

Icebreakers that Teach: The Name Game and Voices from the Past

If you were to click on the Discover top menu and choose Tags, you could search for a term such as Icebreaker. Forty-three tools come up in that search. We think of these tools as “icebreakers that teach” – that is, activities that serve the dual purposes of simultaneously supporting intercultural learning and encouraging your students to get to know /grow more comfortable with each other. A couple I would especially recommend for the domestic TESOL setting, where you may have a room full of culturally and linguistically diverse learners, are the Name Game and Voices from the Past. Both of these activities capitalize on the diversity in the room to showcase the cultural values underlying naming practices and traditions in the first case and common sayings in the second. They both are easy enough for novice language learners but still interesting for those at an advanced level. They usually don’t take more than 20-30 minutes (depending on group size), and the materials for them don’t cost money.

0 comments 0 reposts