For ESL/EFL learners and teachers, try the exercises below, or try my Facebook Notes for Thinkers that can also be used as meaningful ESL/EFL exercises.
Below are three English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) exercises for download, in PDF format, assisting in the cultural learning of English (below graphics). They are a set of characters having something in common, with suggestions on how they could be turned into ESL/EFL assignments, with a little online research. Students could be assigned characters, or they could pick them, as their individual projects. It could also be done several times over, and students picking the same characters are acceptable because they may not have all the same information, presentation style or skill. Assignments could be written and/or verbal presentation. Let them do PowerPoint slides and other multimedia, if possible. These exercises allow for plenty such opportunities. Of course, nobody said they had to be done in English. You could use these exercises learn Spanish, Esperanto, Swahili or Klingon or any other language. They just might not have the same cultural value, but could still make your exercises fun!
There are three exercises increasing in difficulty: Hello Kitty, the Simpsons and Superheroes.
- Click on the graphic to get high resolution printable PDF file in new window
(or automatic download depending on your browser)
- Save As to your computer if there is not an automatic download.
- Open as PDF and print. It should fit nicely on a letter-sized page, horizontal (landscape) orientation.
I hope you will find these exerises useful. Any suggestions to improve them would be greatly appreciated and I will do my best to accommodate. Thank you.
Credits for the idea to Portiglioti on ESLprintables.com (see full credit story at end).
Other Hello Kitty / Sanrio posts on this site:
- 1280 x 960 pixels (also good for 1152 x 864 monitors)
- 1280 × 1024 pixel wallpapers
- 1440 x 960 pixel wallpapers
- 1600 x 1200 pixel wallpapers
- 1920 x 1080 pixel wallpapers
- 1920 x 1200 pixel wallpapers (also good for 1680 x 1050, 1440 x 900, 1280 x 800 and 960 x 600 pixel monitors)
- iPhone backgrounds (320×480 pixels)
- Blackberry Bold 9000s, Palm Pre, HTC backgrounds (480 x 320 pixels)
- Blackberry, HTC backgrounds (480 x 360 pixels)
- Avatars and Buddy Icons for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo, WordPress and other applications! (256 x 256 pixels)
The value of culturally learning English
Learning a language technically is only useful to a certain extent. To master it beyond the technical level means learning something about the culture in which you will use the language because all languages have cultural references. This is especially true of English where such references abound, from the historical to the modern “pop culture”. Cultural reference is the most common challenge immigrant friends tell me they face in learning English, and I understand. I learned English as a child immigrant, continue to work on improving it today despite having a good mastery of it, and still help others learn English here and there. Language changes with time and culture, and everyone has to work on it to keep up. Think about some old adults you know who sound “out of date” and you will know what I mean. It is easier to keep up with a language’s cultural reference living in the culture, naturally learning through all the things you do. However, if you are not able to do that, or decide not to participate, exercises like these may help.
Credit for idea: a tale of Web 2.0 idea development
Credit for this idea goes to Portiglioti on ESLprintables.com who had the idea to use one of those Mr and Miss Facebook memes pictures as an English exercise by adding instructions for it (thank you). I believe the instructions asked which personality are you? It’s since been removed, it seems. Anyway, ESLprintables.com member Mariamit pointed out she saw it on this blog and that there were more such graphics. She posted a link that brought me traffic and alerted me to ESLprintables.com because I never heard of ESLprintables.com until yesterday (thank you for the link).
I thought it was a brilliant idea to use the Facebook meme posters as a language learning tool so I went and took my creations that were variations on that Mister/Miss Facebook meme to turn them into exercises. Those three are the ones above since I did not create the Mister/Miss graphic and “bearly” shuffled the original Care Bears poster around. I was a source for people to obtain the latter two, with some touch-up, since I knew they weren’t easy to find online before. I didn’t do too much “creating”.
However, there’s an unpleasant odd twist as I find looking for the link to credit the idea. Seems Portiglioti is being chastized in an ESL printables forum for “copied” work. The site requires original work, and copying the graphic into a Word document, putting a label on it for a different use, was being judged as not being original enough. There seems to be threat to cancel Portiglioti‘s account even! Oi! I hope they cool down and forgive, if there were anything really wrong in the first place. Take it as a case example for future instances, at most.
I don’t want to really get into that debate of ESLprintables.com and their rules. I just want to say here that I thought it was a great idea, with some originality to see an alternative use. I can’t write this comment in that forum, but I’ll try to alert them to it. If you can, please share on the forum link in the previous paragraph. Regardless, I thought well enough of the idea to spend several hours to make the exercises here, though I also only made exercises from just my own creations so you can see me toeing the line between the two sides. Still, I hope they let the issue go because without that idea, the citing linking to my post afforded by Web 2.0 features, these exercises I made today wouldn’t exist. How’s about I give these back to stop the debate?
My exercises should be fine here and if anybody wants to use them, please do!
But hey, don’t you love what Web 2.0 idea development can do?
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.5