Cross-cultural Dating Customs

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Target Students: High-intermediate to advanced level adult students (18+)

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Objectives: At the end of this lesson, you will be able to do the following:

           1. Understand U.S. dating customs

           2. Understand the dating customs of other cultures

           3. Know the dating vocabulary

           4. Integrate the knowledge and information through activities into writing

           5. Interview a couple and understand what cultural differences they have had

           6. Share the collected information and discuss it with their peers

           7. Participate in a message board forum about dating

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Preparation Practice Production
Activity 1    Activity 2 Activity 3    Follow-up Activity 4    Activity 5    Message Forum

Preparation Activities

  Activity 1: Find the correct answer 

Procedures:

    1. Look at the table below, work alone to match the vocabulary to the right meaning.

    2. Share and discuss your responses with a partner.

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Vocabulary Match

Answer Vocabulary or Phrase Meaning
@ 1 fall in love with someone a like someone
@ 2 fix someone up b end the relationship
@ 3 double date c date someone
@ 4 break up with someone d two couples go on a date together
@ 5 cheat on someone e go out with someone casually (not necessarily a date)
@ 6 on the side f introduce an opposite sex person to someone single for a date
@ 7 two-timer g to date someone else secretly while you are married or dating someone else
@ 8 go out with someone h single
@ 9 available i date a person secretly while dating someone else at the same time
@ 10 hang out j fail to meet someone as arranged
@ 11 stand someone up k dating someone more seriously
@ 12 seeing someone @ @
@ 13 interested in someone @ @
@ 14 attracted to someone @ @
@ 15 unattached @ @

Click Here for the Answer Key

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  Activity 2: Get to Know American Dating Customs 

Procedures:

    1. Find a partner who is preferably from another culture.

    2. Complete the Dating Customs Questionnaire with your partner as you discuss each question.

    3. Present two or three questions from the survey.

    4. Share any personal experiences that you have had in dating people from other cultures.

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Dating Customs Questionnaire

Questions Your Culture Your Partner's Culture U.S. Dating Customs
1

Is it acceptable to date someone with a different religious affiliation?

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2

How does a person ask another out for a first date?

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3

Do females expect the man to pay for the date or do they prefer to share the bill?

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4

Are most parents willing to let their children date someone of different race?

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5

Who should initiate the date, male or female?

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6

Is it acceptable for a female to drink alcohol on a date?

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7

Does it indicate that it is a serious relationship if someone brings his/her date home?

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8

Are there any topics that are forbidden from being discussed on a date (e.g., income, age, etc.)?

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9

Is it ever acceptable to stay overnight at your date's house?

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What are typical venues for a date (e.g., movie theater, restaurants, parks, etc.)?

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11

What are the important days for a couple (e.g., Christmas, Valentine's Day, or New Year's Day)?

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12

Is it acceptable for people to kiss each other in public?

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Practice

CLIPS 1-3

  Activity 3 : Sayonara Discussion 

Procedures:

1. Watch the movie clips of Sayonara on this page.

Click below to watch Clip 1:

 

Click below to watch Clip 2:

2. Look for behavior that you feel might be part of U.S. or Japanese culture.

3. Write down cultural behaviors you observed while watching the clips.

4. Complete the questions listed below with a brief description.

    a) In the first clip, what was the reaction of the Japanese people around the American couple when they kissed in public?
        How do you explain the reaction?

    b) In the second clip, according to the custom being followed, what must people do when drinking sake together?
        Why do you think it is done this way?

5. Share and discuss your responses with your partner/group.

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Source: Goetz, W. (Producer), Logan, J. (Director), Michener, J., & Osborn, P. (Writer). (1957). Sayonara [Motion picture]. United States: Pennebaker Productions.

Note: The segments on this page are to be used for educational purposes only and this length comply with copyright law.

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  Follow-up: Discover Cross-cultural Dating or Marriage 

Procedures:

    1. Interview one cross-cultural couple and complete the following questions.

    2. Choose one of four options below for your presentation (on a 16 x 22-size piece of paper):

            a) Write a poem integrated with the answers you have gathered from the interview.

            b) Write a brief description of the differences in dating customs.

            c) Present a chart or table describing dating customs across cultures.

            d) Write a three-paragraph article about interesting experiences the couple has had.

    3. Prepare a 5-minute oral presentation.

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Interview Questions

@ Questions Answers
1

What are your names?

Male: __________

Female: __________

2 Where are you from? Male: __________          Female: __________
3 How long have you been together? @
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What was your parents' reaction when they first learned about your relationship?

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If they did not approve, what did you do? How have you been trying to win their approval?

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Are there any major differences between your cultures that you have found very hard to understand?

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Click Here for Sample

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Production Activity

  Activity 4: Individual Performance 

Procedures:

    1. Present your findings/writing in five minutes.

    2. Be prepared to answer other students' questions.

    3. Share your opinions regarding the reports and the differences of dating customs among countries.

    4. Share what impressed you the most from other classmates' reports.

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  Activity 5: Share Your Experiences -- Message Forum 

 

Procedures:

    1. Click on to go to Message Forum.

    2. Click on "Post".

    3. Fill out the information of "name, email, messenger, and website."

    4. Select a message icon.

    5. Type what you think about dating customs or your personal experiences in the big blank space.

    6. Click on "Check Spelling" if needed.

    7. Click on "Post Message" or "Preview Message" to preview your message.

    8. Click on messages other people posted and click on "Reply" for the feedback.

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Answer Key for Activity 1

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Answer Vocabulary or Phrases Meaning
f 1 blind date a like someone
f 2 fix someone up b end the relationship
d 3 double date c date someone
b 4 break up with someone d two couples go on a date together
g 5 cheat on someone e go out with someone casually (not necessarily a date)
g 6 on the side f introduce an opposite sex person to someone single for a date
i 7 two-timer g to date someone else secretly while you are married or dating someone else
c 8 go out with someone h single
h 9 available i a person secretly dating someone while dating someone else at the same time
e 10 hang out j fail to meet someone as arranged
j 11 stand someone up k dating someone more seriously
k 12 seeing someone @ @
a 13 interested in someone @ @
a 14 attracted to someone @ @
h 15 unattached @ @

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Sample for Interview Questions

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@ Questions Answers
1

What are your names?

Male: Ross            

Female: Rachel

2 Where are you from? Male: U.S.            Female: Taiwan
3 How long have you been together? 4 years
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What was your parents' reaction when they first learned about your relationship?

Rachel's parents did not approve of the relationship in the beginning, but Ross' parents were fine with it.

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If they did not approve, what did you do? How have you been trying to win their approval?

Ross kept writing letters and sending tapes to Rachel when she was in Taiwan. In them he expressed his love and desire to spend the rest of his life with her. Then, they got married without her parents' approval. However, her parents now are fine with it because they have seen how sincere he is.

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Are there any major differences between your cultures that you have found very hard to understand?

Taiwanese believe in Feng-shui, but most Americans don't. When they were looking for a house, Rachel used Feng-shui to determine which house they should buy. In addition, beds may not face a mirror. And, they take off their shoes whenever they enter the house.

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Preparation Practice Production
Activity 1    Activity 2 Activity 3    Follow-up Activity 4    Activity 5    Message Forum

Any questions or comments? Please E-mail to web designers:

Tom & Paoli

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All the images above are from the following website:

http://myweb.hinet.net/home4/sme00637