Elvira González Elvira González

Copy of Stereotypes
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level


In this lesson Ss will talk about stereotypes, focusing the conversation on stereotypes that exist today, why these stereotypes exist, and how we can combat these stereotypes. A pre-reading exercise will introduce Ss to some nationality stereotypes and a matching task will be assigned--as well as a video at the beginning of the class--to inspire and keep the discussion moving. During the last part of the lesson Ss will be assigned a productive task, role-playing scenarios in which the Ss will act like a familiar stereotype.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of stereotypes (what are they; why do we have them; why won't they go away).

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss an opportunity for combined gist and detailed reading, of a survey on tourist rankings based on their national stereotypes.


Warmer/Lead-in (12-15 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB STEREOTYPES. Ask the WC what they think a stereotype is--what is the definition. Try to elicit from the Ss some common stereotypes (whether they be of race, sex, gender, religion, etc.), that, though they are untrue, seem to still persist to this day. Write some of the Ss' answers on the WB. Provide the WC with a footnote: "I know this can be a very sensitive topic, so try to be considerate of your fellow Ss during the conversation, and if anyone feels uncomfortable with the direction of the discussion, please let me know." Show the WC the YouTube clip of the The Office's "Diversity Day." Introduce the show of the Office and the clip and instruct the Ss to watch this video and observe how inappropriately the boss (Michael J. Scott) handles stereotypes in the office. "If you are the boss of a paper company and you want to create a safe and friendly work environment, open to the diversity of your staff, why is this approach (as you are about to see in this clip) so wrong and against your goals?" Following a viewing of the video clip, have the WC discuss the humor, and the seriousness, behind Michael J. Scott's Diversity Day activity. Youtube: Michael Scotts School of Management - The Office US https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp8pjqwlsc&t=3s

Exposure (26-30 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

Organize the Ss in pairs and distribute the HO on stereotypes. Have the Ss read the paragraph on what Heaven and Hell would be if it were filled with stereotypes. Instruct the Ss that this paragraph is a joke and to think about and discuss some things. "Why do you think these professions (in Heaven and Hell) are linked with these specific nationalities? What national stereotypes are these professions specifically referencing? Do you find the joke amusing? If so, is it because of what you know about these nationalities personally, or what you know of their reputations? Would you like to change the joke in some way? Can you improve it by changing some of the nationalities or some of the jobs?" Following group discussion, bring everyone together for WC FB. "What is the easiest way for a national stereotype to spread?" If Ss are struggling, refer them to the pre-reading task on tourists and national stereotypes. "Do you think that tourists accurately represent their nation of birth?" Generally tourists have some sort of wealth (enough extra money to travel at least) and they are a foreigner in an unfamiliar place--when people are in unfamiliar places they may feel uncomfortable and their behaviors, therefore, may become more aggressive, defensive, or rude. Refer the WC to the pre-reading task ('Tourist Stereotypes'). Write on the WB the four categories that were ranked: "Friendliest Nationalities; Most Polite; Willingness to Understand and Speak English; Most Culturally Sensitive." Write on the WB, off to the side of the categories, some of the nationalities that were ranked: "Brazilians, Spanish, Koreans, Swiss, Hungarians, Poles, Egyptians, Romanians, Japanese, Canadians, Portuguese, British, Dutch." Have the Ss try to guess which nationality was ranked No. 1 for each category (the article doesn't mention every category). Continue discussion of the article. "Do you agree or disagree with the tourist rankings? Why? Are you surprised by any of the rankings and the national stereotypes associated with those rankings?" Write the category ranking results on the WB. Elicit from the WC a response to the ranking results.

Productive Task: Office Stereotypes (20-23 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB some vocabulary words for office stereotypes. "Slacker; Know-It-All; Flirt; Over-Achiever; Gossip; Pervert/Creep; Trainee/Intern; Workaholic; Chatterbox; the Big Cheese; Grump; Doormat." Try to have the Ss guess, or explain, what these vocabulary words mean. Distribute a HO with the stereotype words and some pictures of office workers ('Office Stereotypes'). In groups, have the Ss match the pictures to an office stereotype. Then have the groups mingle and compare their answers. Bring the WC together for some FB. Based on the GW answers, highlight how stereotypes can be powerfully influenced by visuals.

Productive Task: Male and Female Stereotypes (12-15 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB the following sentences: "Where are my socks? I can't find them anywhere; We need to talk; You just relax. I'll organize the summer holiday this year; That wasn't a goal! He was definitely offside; I'll cook tonight." Ask the Ss who would probably say each sentence (a man to a woman or a woman to a man)? Why? Elicit from the Ss some common stereotypes associated with men and women. "Which do we agree with and which do we disagree with? Why? Have any of these stereotypes changed, or switched, between men and women over time?" (e.g. the color pink, in 1918 Earnshaw's Infants' Department stated that pink was for boys--a stronger color, associated with raw meat and blood on a white shirt--and blue for girls--a delicate, danty, prettier color; also heels, wigs, and makeup for men in Medieval Europe)

IF TIME Productive Task: A General Conversation on Stereotypes (15-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Organize the WC into groups. Instruct the groups to discuss the following things: "Why do we stereotype? How are stereotypes damaging? Are stereotypes ever useful for us--in a social setting? Is there anything we can do to combat and destroy stereotypes?" Bring the groups together for WC FB. "Do we know of any old stereotypes that no longer exist in today's society, or have changed from stereotyping one group to another (e.g. Australians are all Crocodile Dundee; Americans are all cowboys; crying used to be considered manly during the Greco-Roman times)?" Write on the WB STEREOTYPES and PREJUDICES. Try to elicit from the WC the differences between these two terms. T Notes: Stereotype, a belief about a certain group of people; Prejudice, a feeling about a person based on their membership in a group. Prejudices can be supported by an established stereotype, but it doesn't necessarily have to come from a stereotype. Stereotypes are based off of common patterns observed in a group. A prejudice can be formed with no previous contact with or observation of the group.

Productive Activity: Stereotype Role-Playing Exercise (7-10 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Group the Ss in new pairs. Instruct the WC that they will be assigned a stereotype to act out (role-play) in the following lesson. "Based on the instructions, either both of you or only one of your needs to interact with you partner according to the stereotype. You will each be given a stereotype and a scenario in which to play the stereotype. The rest of the class will guess what is the stereotype you are trying to portray. Do not say what the stereotype is. Do not use accents, if it is a national stereotype. I want key words and phrases and physical behaviors, connected to the stereotype, to guide the rest of the class to guess correctly." Once the Ss have been assigned their scenario and stereotype, provide them time in class to figure out how they will act out the scenario and if they have any questions for the T. Let the Ss know that if they feel uncomfortable acting out the stereotype that they were assigned, they can choose another one.

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