Category: Culture

Chopsticks and Chinese New Year

鸡年吉祥 / Jínián jíxiáng / Good luck for this Rooster year! As Chinese New Year approaches, here’s a video, follow-up activity and a few ideas that we want to share. Even if you teach a different language, see how culture can instantly hook their curiosity!

Watch Holiday Commercials

Binge watching good commercials can be just as entertaining as the shows! Thanks to the #langchat community, here are some great videos to get you started. Plus I added a few follow up activities that you can use immediately.

Listen to (and learn) new holiday music!

Music is a big part of holiday traditions and I love how each culture has unique songs that connect to the season. There’s nothing wrong with Jingle Bells, but I like to expose students to music that is really original to the target culture (not just a translation).  What songs should our students recognize or
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Celebrate a Character

Who is that?! And he did what? Beyond the many versions of Santa, check out these characters from all over the world. Grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy!

Try a Traditional Treat

Let’s start with some authentic resources for Japanese, ASL, French, Spanish and German that will get the conversation started! Check them out to inspire your lessons and to learn a little about this wonderful world.

A Class “Bucket List” Challenge

Ready for a fun challenge?! These bucket list challenges are all over Pinterest so we thought we would make one for the language class. All those little experiences helps make class engaging and adds a touch of culture. The next posts will go through each activity to show some authres for different languages plus lesson ideas. They will
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ACTFL Takeaway – Cultural Contexts Make Learning More Meaningful!

One of my favorite sessions at ACTFL16 was a Sunday morning session by two teachers from the American School in London. The session was about incorporating tech projects in the language classroom and both teachers showed how they let students learn and practice language with fun, independent tech tools. I noticed something else. What stood
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Golden AuthRes for Activities Unit

The Olympics are in full swing as the school year begins! Since most curricula have an activities and sports unit, we can use the games to be our culture focus and still cover the required vocabulary and structures. I’ve done this before as a “review” of level 1 topics (people, descriptions, activities, sports, giving opinions). Now
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Let Authres Take the Lead ~ Step 3

Starting with authentic resources is great for helping students find new vocab, ask questions about culture, and stay in the target language. I’ve also found that using authentic resources helped me plan better ways to assess learning. That’s step 3 – Authentic tasks and assessments. Here’s another Valentine’s day example of how to start with authres. If
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Let AuthRes Take the Lead ~ Step 2

Published 1/31/16 And now, the daily lesson planning part. I used to get very frustrated with authentic resources. It would take me at least 20 minutes to find a good one, then I only used it for 5 minutes in class, and then I still had to plan the rest of class. I realized that I
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