Cultural Interviews

Purpose: To encourage meaningful dialogue between learners, volunteers and teachers about cultural and educational differences.  This activity is best for intermediate to advanced levels, but high beginners may benefit as well.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes (unless you decide to bring in others to be interviewed).

Materials: Writing materials and recording equipment, if desired. 

Preparation: Think about how to introduce activity to learners.  What is an interview?  Have they ever participated in one or seen one on TV?  You might want to model a short one.

Procedure:

  1. Learner and tutor generate and write down a list of interview questions about U.S. culture. For example, “Who can you call ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’?”
  2. Learner interviews the tutor and takes notes (tutor can help take notes if necessary or, if you are working on listening skills, you can record the conversation for the learner to listen to later).
  3. Learner writes up a rough draft of the interview.
  4. Learner and tutor edit the interview together.
  5. Learner writes up the edited interview.

Variations: 

  • Have learner interview an American neighbor or friend or re-write the questions so they can be asked of people from different countries. 
  • Share the written interview in a variety of ways, for example, have the learner report findings as a speaking activity.
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