Date: Sunday, September 6, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, USA
Language teachers around the world are blazing new trails in their language classrooms with dynamic activities that help students improve their language skills and encourage them to become more thought global citizens. Mouna Bouhlel is one of those teachers in Tunisia.
In this episode, Randall talks with Mouna about her country, the language educational system, and the variety of classroom activities that she uses to encourage thoughtful critical thinking, self-reflection, and greater empathy for others.
As in other episodes, Randall and Mouna discuss how other teachers around the world can use these same ideas and/or adapt them to regular face-to-face instruction or for online teaching for their own needs. Viewer participating is encouraged.
Sunday, August 30, 2020, 9:00 a.m. (US, Mountain Standard Time) – Facebook Live Broadcast
Imagine that you are invited to the home of a new acquaintance in a different country, but you are very worried about their cultural practices and customs. You don’t want to offend your host by doing or saying anything that would create discomfort and offense. Unfortunately, understanding other cultures requires a careful understanding of human relationships as well, and just doing a Google search for culture tips can often prove disastrous because people tend to embellish, gloss over, or simply stereotype a culture that they don’t know well.
That said, people sometimes even overgeneralize the behavior of their own people or the customs of their country because they sometimes overlook the wide diversity that exists in different places. Care is always needed in painting a clear and accurate portrait of any group of people and their traditions.
With these ideas in mind, Randall explains some basic tips and concepts on visiting a home in his part of the United States and attempts to answer the questions below. Viewer participation is greatly encouraged before and during the broadcast to help us learn about the customs and practices of visiting a home in different parts of the world.
Think about these questions as they pertain to your country and to visiting Randall and his family in Utah, USA?
1. If dinner starts at 7:00 p.m., when do you arrive exactly: at 6:45 p.m., right at 7:00 p.m., or at 7:10 p.m.? Why?
2. Do you take a gift, and if so, what do you take?
3. If the house doesn’t have a doorbell, how do you knock on the door?
4. How do you greet your host: with a wave, a handshake, a hug, and/or a kiss? If a kiss is given, what does this look like? On the forehead, on the cheek, on the hand? Does this greeting depend on whether the person is a man or woman? Older or younger than you are?
5. How do you address the host’s spouse (for example, my wife’s name is Shirley, so what do you call her “Mrs. Davis,” “Mrs. Shirley,” “Shirley,” or nothing at all)?
6. Do you take off your shoes when you enter the house?
7. Are there any special words said before starting the meal (e.g., special words of thanksgiving or a prayer)? Do any of these words have any religious significance?
8. What special dinner etiquette should be observed during the meal (e.g., how utensils should be used, any amount food that should be left on the plate, the way in which food is passed around the table, which hand should or shouldn’t be used to eat with, etc.)?
9. Are there any absolute “No-nos” that you should never do at the dinner table? One example for some might be stabbing your rice with your chopsticks as in Japan.
10. Is any special beverage served with the meal? Water, wine, soda, juice?
11. If you don’t like the food that is being served, what should or could you do to not offend the host?
12. Should guests help clean up the kitchen and/or wash dishes after the meal?
13. How do you know when it is time to leave the home so you avoid overstaying your welcome?