Cultural exchange

Published on 16th February, 2012 in Global Bloggers by Valentina Castellani

The best thing of studying a language abroad is the chance you have to get to know people from different countries. At the moment we have many students coming from Spain, Brazil, Italy, and also Kazakhstan. What’s better than talking about Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, as in ‘Where and When’ Part 2 from Global Elementary? The lesson perfectly fits in with my class needs at the moment, plus it gives my students the chance to teach us something about their country and culture.

After revising adjectives, as suggested at the beginning of the unit, I asked each student to describe their city to a partner. At this stage students only had to listen to their partner without asking questions. They really enjoyed sharing differences and similarities between their cities!

After reading ‘The created capital’ I asked my students to prepare a few questions for our Kazakh students about Astana. This activity gave me the chance to elicit the use of question words and help them to correct their mistakes. It also gave students the chance to practise speaking without any intrusion from my side. Our Kazakh students were delighted to answer questions about their capital city! All students were very excited about the possibility of learning about Astana from people originally from there.

They further practised question words with the exercise after the grammar section.

I then grouped students coming from the same city or country and asked them to prepare a short presentation about it, based on the text they had just read in Global. At the same time students prepared three questions each to ask at the end of the presentation. Students were able, not only to learn something new about the English language, but they also learned something new about different cultures and cities.

This activity gave us, teacher and students, the chance to make the most out of our multicultural environment, where different traditions and experiences come together thanks to English and Global.


  • I’d like to download the lesson for classroom use.

    sam on 29 February, 2012
  • Hi Sam!
    Thanks, that’s really good to hear!
    The lesson is based on a unit of Global Elementary “Where and When” Part 2. You can use the blog post as an outline for the lesson itself. All the relevant material is on the book, you should check it out!
    Where do you teach?
    all the best! Valentina

    Valentina on 1 March, 2012
  • Hello Valentina,
    I have been looking at Globe Elementary as a possible book to use with adults and young adults this coming term .However, i work at a language school in the south of Brazil where students know each other well and only hear Portuguese outside the classroom.Your work with students from different backgrounds sounds great. Do you think this book would work with my groups?

    Roslyn Greig on 2 March, 2012
  • Hi Roslyn!
    thanks for your message!
    Global is a great book, and in the past I used with monolingual classes as well as multicultural contexts.
    What I particularly love about this book is the truly international perspective of it and integrated skills! each unit features all skills,as well as grammar, functions and vocabulary. Depending on your class and your context you can adapt its content. Try downloading some of the sample units and give it a try in class, I’m sure you’ll love working with it!
    Please keep me posted after you try it, I’d love to hear your ideas and share my experience using Global with you!
    all the best!

    Valentina on 8 March, 2012