A teaching module

Raising Awareness/ DefiningReacting and Comparing ResultsReading and building vocabularyAnalyzing stereotypes in the media


Level: intermediate and above

A- Warm -up (Pre-teaching vocabulary)

1. Group the following adjectives under categories (taste, attitude, feelings, organization, etc) and indicate which are positive or negative traits. Ask them to check the meaning or translation in the dictionary if they are not sure (teachers may substitute these adjectives for easier synonyms according to students' level of English)

appetizing, aloof, mean, polite, honest, solid, ardent, bland, pleasant, organized, friendly, tedious, sloppy, methodical, chaotic, systematic, tidy, unpleasant, nasty, passionate, tender, uninterested, cruel, organized, cold, negligent, horrifying, untidy, refined, insipid, flavourless, tasty, reliable, careless, unstable, romantic, uninteresting, sophisticated, dull ,disciplined, unresponsive, messy,

B - Introduce concept/practice vocabulary in situation

Fill in the following handout completing the sentences with the adjectives listed above.

" Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians ".

Heaven is a ___________ place to be (fill in with an adjective)

What qualities make a good policeman/a cook/a mechanic/lover/ manager ?

A policeman should be
A cook should
A mechanic should be
A lover should be
A manager should be

In this joke

the British are regarded as being
the French are portrayed as being
the Germans are considered as being
Italian men have a reputation of being
the Swiss are said to be

Hell is a_________ place to be (fill in with an adjective)

What is the inference made about

German policemen:
British food:
French mechanics:
Swiss lovers:
Italian management:

Do you think this is true?

What do these statements have in common?

B - Develop ideas/discuss

One or two students should take notes of the ideas that come up so as to be able to report them back at the end of the class.

1) Working with two or three people, compare your answers and see if you have come to the same conclusion. Share with the class.

2 )Choose two or three other nationalities that are participating in the twinning and brainstorm common stereotypes that you have heard people use about them.

2) Working on your own, write down five or six stereotypes for your own nationality.

3) Was it easy to complete the sentences? Did your answers come naturally? Why? Why not?

4) Did the completed statements make you feel uncomfortable? Why? Why not?

5) In general, were your responses positive or negative?

6) List the stereotypes under positive, negative or neutral. What does this tell us about stereotypes?

7) Fill in the following questionnaire on your own and later discuss it with your teacher and colleagues. You may use :
A= I agree B= I'm not sure C= I disagree

8) What is, in your opinion, the best way to challenge a stereotype.

9) What you have seen here are national stereotypes. Can you think of other kinds of stereotypes?

C - Homework