How to Write
ESL Culture Lesson Plans
underestimate the importance of a good
culture lesson plans aren't always easy to get right but they can be
great for you and your students.
Why are culture lessons good for your students?
If you are teaching students in an English-speaking country, they will
want to know about the culture of the country they are living in.
Students in other countries will also have an interest in
English-speaking countries' festivals and culture, as they may want to
visit or live there in the future.
Integrated, or blended, learning is becoming very popular in ESL/EFL
This is where students learn the language through materials which teach
other subjects such as history, geography, or literature.
Culture is one area where integrated
or blended learning
can take place.
A typical lesson plan
Although there are many different teaching methods and lesson plan
formats, a typical lesson plan will include a warm up activity, some
kind of presentation, and then student activities.
If you are doing a lesson plan on Thanksgiving
for example, you could include a warm up activity that introduces some
of the vocabulary the students will need later in the lesson.
You could then provide reading
and do a jigsaw
with the students.
After that, you could get the students to write
about what they are thankful for.
That is a very simple lesson plan, but is typical of the format for
lessons about culture and festivals.
You could do similar lessons about Christmas, Easter, school and
education, stereotypes, national foods, and many more subjects.
may not be your main focus if you are doing a lesson about culture, but
it can be quite easy to incorporate into a lesson.
For example, if you are using a reading text, pick out a tense
that is used and do a grammar presentation on it.
Other ways to use texts about culture
are great, gap
can also be useful.
- Take out words from the texts the students are
reading, and ask them to fill in the missing words.
- Ask students to summarize longer texts.
This is particularly useful for more advanced students, and longer
- Cut up the texts, place the pieces around the
room, and get the students to find all the pieces in the set and put
them in order.
Things to be aware of
Be careful of cultural or religious sensitivities.
Being culturally aware is extremely important when you teach English as
a foreign language, whether you are teaching in your country, or
Students may have completely different ideologies and beliefs than you.
Students from some countries may have been taught about historical
events from a different perspective.
If it becomes obvious that their opinions are different, it is
important not to argue with them but calmly explain that there are
different points of view and that the one you are presenting is the
most widely held in your country.
If you are culturally sensitive and follow general lesson plan rules,
then you should be able to create great lesson plans for students and
tell something about your culture too.