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Themes in U.S.

Culture
University of Shimane Summer Program 2010
Instructor: Tony Kazanjian
Day & Time: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 1:00 – 3:00pm
Location: B108

Course Description:
This course is designed to help you improve your English skills. American culture is a
very big topic, but we will explore some aspects of it that interest you during our course. Each
week will have a theme, such as Food or Holidays, which we will discuss in depth. As you
participate in class activities and communicate with your host family and other community
members, you will become more familiar with US Culture and how it is similar to or different
from Japanese culture.

Course Objectives:
 Improve English communication skills on a variety of topics
 Broaden students' knowledge of themes in U.S. Culture
 Encourage understanding of cultural differences between Japan and the U.S.

Expectations:
It is important that you arrive on time and prepared for each class. You should also
participate actively in discussions, in-class activities, and group work. Part of understanding US
Culture is learning how to act in an American classroom. Please do your best to meet these
expectations.

Projects:
Host Family Interviews and Presentations
The purpose of these projects is to encourage you to learn about US Culture directly from
your host family or other community members. You will interview your host family about a
holiday tradition one week and about favorite entertainment the next week. You will then
present your results to the class in groups.

Artifact Assignment
This project will give you the opportunity to share with the class something that reflects
your view of US culture. You will choose one item that represents something interesting, new,
strange, or different about US culture. You will discuss this item with an American and then
share his/her reactions with the class along with your own.

Assignment % of Grade
Attendance and Class Participation 20
Interviews & Observations 30
Artifact Assignment 30
Class Presentations 20
Total 100
Shimane University
U.S. Culture Class: MWF 1-3pm

August 2010
Mon Wed Fri
2 4 CALIFORNIA 6 CALIFORNIA
Class activities: Class activities:
Program Orientation! Introductions Monterey attractions
US Geography game
(no class) Homework
Impressions of US Culture Interview host family about
collage hobbies
9 PASTIMES 11 POP CULTURE 13 POP CULTURE
Class activities: Class activities: Class activities
Talk about interview Small group discussion about Culture shock issues so far:
Hobbies and sports, usual favorite movies/music Major differences between
American pastimes Japan and US
Comparing Japanese and US Prepare poster for presentation
Homework: movies, music, and fashion.
Gather information about a Homework:
western pop culture item Homework: Find your artifact if you don’t
Bring in materials for poster have it already!
16 HOLIDAYS 18 HOLIDAYS 20 HOLIDAYS
Class activities: Class activities: Class activities:
Culture Shock presentation Small group discussion: Prepare poster
Major US Holidays What did you find out?
Choose Holiday to research Comparing Japanese and US Holiday Presentations
Prepare Interview Questions Holiday Traditions
Homework:
Interview your host family Homework: Homework:
about your holiday. Bring in any materials you Don’t forget to look for your
want to add to your poster Fri artifact!
23 FOOD 25 FOOD 27
Class activities: Class activities: Class activities:
What is American food? Food and socializing Artifact Presentations

Groceries, fast food, organic, Artifact Presentations Revisiting Impression collages


regional, ethnic
Homework: Wrap-up & Say Goodbye!
Be ready to present your
artifacts on Wednesday. Graduation: 6 PM