María Fernanda Arango María Fernanda Arango

Intercultural Lesson Plan
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will practice their speaking skills within an intercultural lesson framework by comparing and contrasting the rites of passage for boys and girls coming of age who are native to different Latin American countries.


Abc Book: Among the Volcanoes by Omar S. Castañeda
Abc Book: Caminar by Skila Brown
Abc PowerPoint presentation
Abc Book: Life Events and Rites of Passage

Main Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in an open-class debate about the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood of Latin American countries.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To value and develop awareness of their native culture and of other students' different cultural backgrounds.
  • To acquire new lexis in the context of ways of life and rites of passage.


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set the lesson's context and engage students in the topic

• Show images of different rites of passage from different countries to give students ideas on the distinct ways of life around the world. Include people from countries outside of Latin America, but focus primarily on Latinx traditions. • Elicit answers and opinions from the students on the following questions and encourage interaction between them: What do these images show? What is a ritual? Can you think of an example? What is the first explanation that comes to mind when you hear "rite of passage"? Explain it to your classmates. What is the purpose of rites and rituals? Do you like the hobby that "x" student just mentioned? Why/why not? • Nominate students to explain the reasons for their answers, express their individual preferences, and interact with their classmates: Do you agree/disagree with x student? What do you think about what x student said?

Content Preparation (6-8 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in the coming speaking task through reading

• Project on the screen the two extracts (400-500 words) from the selected books for the course (Among the Volcanoes by Omar S. Castañeda, and Caminar by Skila Brown). Make sure to upload these documents on Schoology before the beginning of the lesson so that students can have access to them during the lesson and the rest of the course. • Give clear instructions and encourage students to express their opinions. Nominate students to encourage participation and interactions. Throughout this course we are going to be working with two main books: Among the the Volcanoes by Omar S. Castañeda, and Caminar by Skila Brown; you can find both of these books on Schoology, as well as the extracts we are going to be working with today. These books talk about the coming of age of a boy and a girl from Guatemala. You are now going to skim read the two extracts and find out what the texts are about. What do the authors describe? How are these adolescent's ways of life different and/or similar? How is being a girl different from being a boy? Individually, you will have 3 minutes to read the texts and annotate your ideas on your notebook. • Project the guiding questions on the board to help students while they read. • Check if students have any questions using ICQs. Then, proceed to start the group conversation. Use guiding questions to prompt students to participate, but do not interrupt them unless one of them asks for help or shows a lack of understanding. • When the three minutes are over, lead a brief OCFB session for students to share their impressions and opinions. Provide error correction on the spot, but make sure that this does not disrupt students' interactions and expression of ideas. • As students express their opinions, write down their answers on the board to create a brainstorm diagram. • Provide feedback on the spot if considered appropriate and encourage self and peer correction. Otherwise, make notes on the side to later discuss at the end of the lesson.

Language Preparation (8-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming speaking task

• Project a previously created table on Jamboard showing the different rites of passage from childhood to adulthood, divided in the columns of Religious Milestones, New Privileges and Responsibilities, School Events, and Other Initiation Rites (Hill & Daniels, 2008). As before, make sure that the link to the Jamboard document is available and accessible to students through Schoology so that they can edit and contribute during the lesson. Give clear instructions and check students' understanding of the given instructions: Now that we have read and compared the different ways of life and rituals of adolescents in Guatemala, let's think about what traditions there are in other countries that may be different - or similar - to those of Carlos and Isabel from Guatemala. By accessing the Jamboard link on Schoology, together you are all going to fill in this table to identify and describe the different rites of passage from childhood to adulthood that are present in countries around the world. Get together in groups of three and search for information on the Internet about these customs and write them on the Jamboard. Remember to also use your own experience as a Colombian to add facts to the table. You have 7 minutes to find as much examples as you can. You can work individually or in pairs. • Model an example to help students have a clear understanding of the task at hand: For example, one rite of passage that is common in certain states of the USA are the debutante balls which mark the end of a girl's child status and signal her entry into womanhood. In the case of Latin American countries, the religious equivalent could be the quinceañera feast, as it also signals when a girl becomes a woman. • If students are struggling to find examples, share with them the book "Life Events and Rites of Passage" by Jeff Hill and Peggy Daniels. This can help students to find information to fill in the table and get to know the rites of passage characteristic of other countries. • Once the time limit is up, gather students to briefly share their answers. Provide error correction on the spot, but make sure that this does not disrupt students' interactions and expression of ideas. This is an essential interactive space where students can practice their speaking skills and link their lived experiences with general examples and with the lives of the book characters of Carlos and Isabela.

Speaking Practice (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

• Before giving instructions, ensure that you have published the names of the teams for and against on Schoology so that students can get ready to prepare their arguments. Introduce the speaking task using clear instructions: Given that we have now gone through what rites of passage there are, how they differ between girls and boys, and what vocabulary we can use to describe them, we are going to have an open-class debate on the topic. You are going to prepare your arguments in groups of three students. The main guiding statement is: Rites of passage are a necessary tradition that we should follow for both girls and boys. Half of the class will be in favour of this statement, while the other half willl present a counterargument. The names of the teams are on Schoology so that you can check whether you are in favour or against the argument of debate. • Project on the board a list of guiding questions to aid students' understanding of the task: You can also use the following guiding questions to help you: Are Latin American countries more fixated on having rituals, or is it something characteristic of every country? Why do you think this is? Should certain rites of passage be abolished or encouraged? Which ones? Should boys and girls go through the same rites of passage? • Model an example to give students a clear idea of what they have to do. For example: In my opinion, I believe that rites of passage are part of cultural traditions that have a symbolic value and are greatly cherised by some. However, I believe that one of the problems is when these rituals are considered to be mandatory for one person to be respected and welcomed in society. • Check student's understanding using ICQs and clarify any doubts students may have. Now you will have 8 minutes to prepare your arguments and, once that time is up, we will being the debate. • While students are preparing their parts, go through the different groups and monitor their work. Make notes on common mistakes, individual errors, and positive language use. This will be discussed at the end of the lesson during the feedback session. • Do not interrupt students, but if they ask for help, address their doubts and questions on the spot. • Once the eight minutes are up, gather all students together and begin the debate. Do not interrupt unless it is necessary to keep the conversation going. However, do not make error corrections, as this will be done at the end of the lesson.

Content and Language Feedback and Error Correction (8-10 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' speaking production and use of language

• Once the students have finished the debate, discuss the following questions as a class: What can we conclude from today's debate? Do we fee inclined towards a particular point of view? Why? What expressions did we learn today about traditions and rites of passage? • Encourage students to justify their opinions as much as possible. • Model possible answers by providing examples of your own. • Conduct feedback and DEC on the productive skills task, based on the annotations made throughout the lesson on their errors and positive language use. • Focus on providing feedback on the content of the lesson and not on the grammatical aspect of language. • To prevent elevating TTT, encourage peer and self-correction. This will also help to boost students' motivation and autonomy when capable of noticing their own mistakes. • Praise students for their good work. • Assign homework and offer closing remarks: For next lesson we are all going to read the next chapter of Caminar and Among the Volcanoes. Be prepared to discuss the books in class next week. Thank you for coming and for your wonderful participation. See you next lesson.

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