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A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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Compass: Lesson 1: Culture Shock around the world

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area


Learning Scenario

Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material


Linguistic Features



Critical Thinking


This teaching resource is extremely diversified and allows student to engage in numerous activities focusing on different skills and collaborative tasks.
Students were given the handout (included in a booklet previously produced), zoom rooms were used to allow them the first contact with the first activity and the exchanging of ideas. However, this has happened after the concept of culture had been approached by the lecturer.
The video was watched as a class, students were afterwards invited to discuss their answers back in their zoom rooms.
The outline given in the handout was generally followed. This activity was well received by students who managed most of the activities quite well since the group was quite a good one.

Case study

This activity was undertaken by three groups of Leisure Management and Tourism Entertainment (BA) students of the second year.
No of students: 60


One needs to make sure the video is previously downloaded or that the internet speed is good.
Students will
• discuss the concept of culture and culture shock
• watch a BBC video entitled ‘Culture shock for Amazon Chief ’s son’
• discuss similarities and differences between cultures
Students discuss what culture means to them. This is to activate schemata in relation to the module topic
Students discuss four questions related to communication and behaviour, and to adapting to a new culture.
Put students back in their groups. Ask them to discuss questions a–d together (Check handout). Monitor while they do this.
As an extra activity, you could introduce new language points.
Encourage students to expand on their initial answers by exemplifying and explaining why particular aspects of culture may be more or less difficult to adapt to.
Students watch a film clip and make predictions about adapting to a new culture. Students do the different activities proposed in the handout (without watching the video with subtitles)
At the end of class, encourage students to think about alternatives for the vocabulary in a given sentence from the lesson. Can they think of a suitable synonym/a more formal word/a colloquial way of saying the same thing? Elicit additional collocations (words that occur together with greater than chance frequency) for a noun adjective or verb used. This can help students expand their vocabulary and become more sensitive to the choices they must make in using it.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills


Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning


Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries


Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning


Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need


Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


This is a user-friendly resource that is part of a very interesting package that allows endless possibilities for upper-intermediate students. For example:
These are two other resources on the same topic that include activities on culture focussing on different skills. One of the best things about these handouts/ plans is that they already give us an outline that we can follow but also adapt to learners with different abilities. When teaching in an online environment this has allowed focusing on collaborative tasks in zoom rooms, have discussions around images and new vocabulary, and practise the listening skills with a rather short video.
Website of the Teaching Source: