Counteracting Unhelpful StereoTypes

When we use folktales or folk traditions in our world language classroom, we need to think about  unhelpful stereotypes that we are perpetuating. This is highly situational. If you teach in a monocultural school, you may need to do more of this. Even in very diverse schools, students may need to explore the nuances of culture and range of experiences of the people in the culture. 

Glaring Example - Africa

U.S. people often mention Africa in the same breath as countries like Romania, Canada, Mexico, China. This reveals how unaware we are about that particular continent. I find it helpful to mention the actual country that you are talking about. This is still large grain; there are 1500-2000 languages and family groups on this large continent. By providing counter-stories, we can invite students and our colleagues to broaden their thinking. 

All Very Different: Senegal, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Burundi

I have created a lesson to accompany the unit on the story Binta and the Baobab, that allows students to deepen their understanding.

  • 100% Target Language
  • Real Exchange of Information
  • Focus on form - narration in the past

I have converted this into an online Interactive Activity