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ERIC Number: EJ1077945
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Cultural Introductions by Way of Storytelling
Jellick, Matthew
English Teaching Forum, v53 n3 p35-37 2015
In this article Matthew Jellick describes an introductory lesson he has used on the first day of class with students around the globe. The activity touches on each of the skill sets associated with English language acquisition, with special attention paid to cultural issues that can be applied on a country-by-country basis. No matter what country the technique is used in, the goal is to create an inviting lesson in which students exercise English abilities while sharing their cultural and personal norms (or exceptions). The technique offers many variations to suit different teaching styles and can be used as a warm-up activity or take up an hour-long session. It is based on the notion of a "Mad Lib." The teacher makes up a creative story to share with the class, leaving blank key cultural and personal references particular to the country and individual students. By incorporating examples of celebrities, foods, music, places, and other culture-specific customs, this activity enables the students to finish their own stories, highlighting their individual preferences as the unique part that completes each sentence. Vocabulary used and length of the exercise can be adjusted based on the class's collective mastery of English. Herein, Jellick describes his own experience implementing the technique and provides ideas for extensions and variations.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A