Reading /Presentation
Cross-cultural Communication
- An Introduction to American Culture
Wed. 3rd. Period Robert Yui
Keywords:
Culture, Discussion, Intensive Reading, Presentation, Research, Speaking, Vocabulary, Web Activities, American History

There are many definitions of culture.  Some would define it as the art, literature, and music of a people, their architecture, history, religion, their traditions.  Some others might focus more on the customs and specific behavior of the people.  The course chooses a sociological definition of culture as the way of life of a group of people, developed over time and passed down from generation to generation.  This broad definition includes every aspect of human life and interaction.  The course is chosen to make a values approach focusing on the traditional mainstream values that have attracted people to the states.  The course traces how values affect aspects of life.


By studying the information about the traditional, basic American values, where they came from, and how these values affect various institutions and aspects of life in the United States,  the course is intended to increase students' awareness and understanding of the cultural values of the United States, their own country, and other countries.  The information the students get in class will help them get a composite picture of American beliefs and practices as they relate to education, business, government, sports, recreation and so on.


Attendance: 20%
Assignment: 10%
Paper: 20%
Mid-term Presentation: 15%
Final Presentation: 25%
Class Participation: 10%


1

Government and Politics in the United States
 

Reading:  1. A Suspicion of Strong Government  2.  The Organization of the American Government  3.  The Ideal of Free Individual 

Activities:  Ask Yourself / Think, Pair, Share

2

Reading:   4. The Development of Big Government:  The Welfare State  5. The Role of Special Interest Groups  6.  The New Individualism Versus the Old Individualism

Activities:  Comprehension Check / Questions for Discussion / Summary

3

Ethnic and Racial Assimilation in the United States

Reading:  1.  Melting Pot or Salad Bowl  2.  The Establishment of the Dominant Culture  3. The Assimilation of Non-Protestand and Non-Western Europeans


Activities:  Ask Americans / Think, Pair, Share/ Understanding Charts and Graphs/ Understanding Affirmative Action

4

Reading:    4.  The African-American Experience  5. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s  6.  Race Relations after the Civil Rights Movement  7. A Universal Nation
Activities:   Comprehension Check / Questions for Discussion / Summary

 

5

Education in the United States

Reading:  1. The Establishment of Public Schools in America   2.  The Education Ladder     3.  Attending an American University  4.  The Money Value of Education

Activities:  Ask Americans  / Think, Pair, Share / Ask Yourself

6

 

Reading:  5.  Educating the Individual   6.  Race Equality and Education  7.  The Increasing Responsibilities of Public Schools 8. The Standard Movement  9.  Multicultural Education

Activities:  Comprehension Check/  Questions for Discussion  /Summary

 

7

Mid-Term Presentation:  Topics for the presentation will be announced during the first few weeks of class.

 

8

Leisure Time:  Organized Sports, Recreation, and Television


Reading:  1. Sports and American Values  2. Competition Carried to an Extreme?
Activities:  Think, Pair, Share / Ask Americans / Ask Yourself

9

 

Reading:  3.  Recreation:  A Time for Self-Improvement  4. Health and Fitness    5.   The Impact of Television

Activities:  Comprehension Check / Questions for Discussion / Summary

10

The American Family

Reading:  1.  Family Structures   2. The Emphasis on Individual Freedom   3.   Marrige and Divorce  4.The Role of the Child
Activities:  Proverbs and Sayings / Ask Americans / Ask Yourself / Think, Share, Pair

11


Reading:  5. Equality in the Famil  6.  Four Stages of Marriage Relationships  7.  The Role of Familly in Society  8. Family Values

Activities:  Comprehension Check  / Questions for Discussion / Summary 

 

12

American Values at the Crossroads:  The United States in the 21st Century

Reading:  1.  Factors That Affect American History   2.  20th Century Challenges to American Values

Activities:  Ask Americans / Think, Pair, Share / Ask Americans 2 

 

13

Reading:   3. The War in Vietnam and the Watergate Scandal   4.  The Need for New National Values  4.  The United States: The First Universal Nation?

Activities:  Comprehension Check  / Questions for Discussion / Summary 

14

Final Presentation I

Topics for the Final Presentation will be announced after the Mid-term

15

Final Presentation II

Final Report / Paper ( including the Mid-term) must be handed in on this day


The real goal of this course is to help students become more sensitive to cultural differences and more accepting of them.  However, there will always be things about another culture that we do not like no matter how much we understand it.  The objective of this course is not to persuade others to approve of all facets of life in the United States but rather to help students understand it more fully and be able to adapt whenever it is desirable to do so.  There are opportunities for exploiting one's foreign qualities but there are also times when being from a different culture can be a real liability.  The instructor hopes that this introduction will help students make more informed choices.  (Important* If a student misses 4 classes, he or she will automatically fail the course.)