Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sneak Peek at Charice on 'Glee' Season 2: An EFL Lesson (Cross-cultural communication)

I came across this sneak peek video on Facebook, and after watching it I thought it can be used as a great material for an EFL lesson or cross-cultural communication course activity.

I'm a Charice fan. Like Susan Boyle, Charice was a product of the you-tube phenomenon. From Ellen to Oprah, to David Foster- they saw a potential (money and talent wise) in Charice. And now she's in Glee (season 2). Her life is an amazing story, but that is not what I had in mind for an EFL lesson. It's really about the sneak peek video that GLEE producers published/shared on Facebook.

Before you show the video in class, do a pre-video discussion as a warm-up activity. Ask your EFL students about their experiences  when talking to native speakers of English. Were they treated badly simply because of their Asian appearance or because of their accent? This can be a sensitive topic- so be careful with what you say and be cautious of how your students will react.

Ask students if they have heard of Glee (TV series) and what they think of the program. Do they like the cast members? Who among the cast do they like the most? Why? What do they think of the lead cast, Rachel?

If they have not heard of Glee, you may want to show them a clip from Youtube to help them understand what this Glee is about.

Now, tell your students that you're going to show them a sneak peek video for one of the series for Season 2.

After watching it for the first time, ask them:
1) how do they feel about the clip/scene
2) did it change their opinion about Rachel (the lead character in Glee)
3) what do they think of Charice's performnce, and how she was portrayed in that scene?

Now, tell your students that you're going to watch the same video again. But this time, they should pay attention to the ff:

1) what made Rachel talk to Charice that way?
2) Were Rachel's assumptions valid? how so?
3) How do you feel about Charice's reactions? Could she have done more?

We sometimes judge people based on the way they look. Appearance can tell us something about a person, but we can't summarize a person's ability, intelligence, personality, etc. simply based on the way she/he looks.

We also sometimes judge a person's ability based on his/her accent? Does accent really represent one's intelligence?

Consider the consequences of that particular scene to Charice's character 'Sunshine'- how do you think it would affect her? Can a similar situation affect your EFL students and their attitude towards themselves as EFL learners? ...their perception about their ethnicity and how it affects status symbol? For teenagers, image is everything. Being 'IN' is what matters the most. But how can EFL students be 'in' in an environment where there's little tolerance to ethnic/accent differences?

TOLERANCE. Big word- what does it really mean? How can EFL studens/teachers practice it?

The issues raised in this lesson are valuable to teaching cross-cultural communications, and yes, world Englishes.

I hope you'd able to use this piece in your class, and share with us/me how it went.


No comments: