Saturday, April 16, 2011

An ESL Class on Food And Culture

The movie Eat Pray Love is sweet and brings lots of cultural aspects an EFL/ESL teacher could explore. My advanved conversation group had a blast last class. We talked about food, watched a movie to prompt discussion, and as a follow up, we will bring our special family recipes to share . I want them to try out a web2.o to present their recepies. We explored slideshare, voicethread and Prezi. I'm dying to see what these digital natives will surprise me with. I asked them to also bring the dish... I'll keep my fingers crossed for a yummy class. I myself will bring an apple pie. I couldn't get enough of it when I was in the States. I tried to make them here in Brazil, but I was always dissappointed until I learned the secret. I'll make a movie of my cooking this special desert, bring it to class and listen to their talking about their most treasured recipes. Actually, they told me that we could be talking about food for the rest of the semester! Sharing food is for sure a great way to create a bond among people.Students suggested making this pie for Mother's day. It means to me that I have reached them and talked about something they care about. It was a great class.


Type of activivity Speaking / movie activity
Time 25 to 50 minutes
Topic Food - recipes - culture - Stereotyping
Age group Older teens or adults
Webtools SlideSix ( because you can narrate your recipe!)


What do these sayings mean? Do the say anything about the people's culture?

My favorite animal is steak. ~Fran Lebowitz

wn better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb

Rice is born in water and must die in wine. ~Italian Proverb

Eat little, sleep sound. ~Iranian Proverb

1 - Talk to a partner and find the odd one out in each set of words.

Beef / steak /pork/ lamb / garlic
Garlic is the odd one out because the others are all type of meat.

a) Mango / rice /pear/raspberry
b) Butter / cottage cheese/ yogurt / brocolli
c) Turkey/cauliflower/pepper / spinach
d) Lamb / chicken / turkey / Duck
e) Pasta / sauce / pie / grapes
f) Chocolate/chickpeas/syrup / jam
g) Brown bread / brown rice / chocolate / sugar
h) Beef / steak /pork/ lamb / garlic

2 - Where are these dishes from?
a) Roast turkey, roast potatoes, two or three kinds of vegetables, plus a meat-flavored sauce called gravy.
b) A paste made from chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. You eat it with pitta bread.
c) Apple pie ( a sweet dish people eat as a dessert)
d) Pancakes with maple syrup- a thick, sweet liquid that comes from inside some kinds of tree in that country.

e) Fresh fish cooked in dende oil and coconut milk.

3- Discuss with a partner the following questions. How many things do you have in common?

What words spring to mind when you hear the word Italy?

What role does eating play in your life?

Do you have any memory related to food?

How open are you to try different coisines?

If you were given the chance to travel to a place to experiment the cousine, where would you go? Why?

How often do you take your time to enjoy your meals?

4 - Before you watch a scene from the movie Eat Pray Love, complete the sentences with your own ideas.

Generally speaking, Italian people know how...

If you want to learn Italian you should...

In Italy, body language is...

When you are in Italy you shouldn’t...

At a restaurant you must...

5- After watching the movie complete the sentences below. Who is the most attentive student?

Generally speaking, Italian people know how...
The hairdresser told the woman that...
The woman said that the hairdresser's description of the Americans was not...
According to the young man, Italians are masters of...
The hairdresser said that you don't speak Italian with your mouth. You have to use...
If you want to learn Italian you should...
In Italy, body language is...
When you are in Italy you shouldn’t...

6 - Group discussion
What gestures used in the movie do you remember? What do they mean?
Do you use a lot of body language? Why?Why not?
What do you think of the man's description of the American people and the Italians?
What is a generalization for you?
How do you feel when someone stereotypes the people where you come from?
What do people say about people in your country?
What is the typicall food in your country?
Do you think that food defines a culture? Why? Why not?
It is said that sharing food has always been a way for people of all cultures to bond with others. Do you agree? Why? Why not?

Homework / follow up
You will host a couple of foreigners next week. You want to impress by making a meal that represents your country.
What will you make? Think about the first and second dishes, and

Use a web2.o to make a presentation. What's your favorite recipe? What's the secret one should know to make the dish very well?

1 - Odd one out
Rice - all the others are fruit
Brocolli. All the others are dairy products
Turkey. All the others are vegetables
Lamb. All the others are kind of birds
Parsley. All the others are ready food
Chickpeas. All the others are sweet
Sugar. All the others are brown
Fish. all the others are kind of red meat

2- Where are these dishes drom?
a) Great Britan and The US
b) Middle East
c) The US
d) Cana da
e) Brazil

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