Lesson 19: Different Cultures


In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over this topic: different cultures. First, read the following dialogue out loud with your tutor, then switch roles and try again. 

Dorothy and Kevin are talking about the difference between cultures.

Kevin, have you ever experienced culture shock?
Yes, I did when I lived in Thailand. They have different beliefs there. Most of the Thai people are Buddhists.
I’m sure they have different values also.
One value they have in their religion is karma.
I’ve heard of it. Do they stereotype other countries and people?
I think some people do, but I don’t let it bother me. Sometimes I had to watch my body language.
That’s interesting. What about the Thai language. Are there different dialects?
Yes, it depends on which region you’re living in. In northern Thailand, they speak differently than people from Bangkok.
How are their manners different?
They bow their head and put their hands together between the heart and face. It’s their cultural way of saying hi. It’s called wai.


Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

culture shock (n) a nervous and scared feeling when living in another culture or country different from yours
For the first two months in Thailand, I experienced culture shock. People ride their motorscooters on the sidewalk.
beliefs (n – plural) a feeling that something is good, right, and valuable
People have different beliefs about religion.
values (n – plural) a person’s principles or standard of behavior; what’s important in life
Children learn values from their parents.
karma (n) the force created by a person’s actions; believed in some religions like Buddhism
She believes that helping people is good karma.
stereotype (v) to believe unfairly that all people are the same; especially a race, country, or religion
Sometimes people stereotype a person by their color of skin.
body language (n) movements or positions of the body that express a person’s thoughts or feelings
I could tell by his body language that he was nervous.
dialects (n – plural) a form of language that is spoken in a particular area of a country
There are different dialects of the English language.
region (n) a part of a country or of the world
I live in the northeast region of the USA.
manners (n – plural) the way that something is done or happens
He forgot his manners and reached across the table for the salt.
cultural (adj) of or relating to a particular group of people and their beliefs
There are some cultural differences between us.


Practice answering the following questions with your tutors. You can use the sample answers to come up with your own answer.

  1. How do you feel or how do you think you would feel in another culture?
    1. I experienced culture shock when I was in Thailand. It was a different way of living.
    2. I think I would feel different, especially if I noticed how they used body language.
    3. Your answer:
  2. What do you think is important about visiting another country?
    1. In my opinion, you should try to speak their language.
    2. I think it’s really important to respect another country’s culture, beliefs, and values.
    3. Your answer:
  3. How should people act when they come to your country?
    1. When meeting somebody new in my country, it’s important to make eye contact.
    2. It’s important not to stare at another person. It shows disrespect.
    3. Your answer:
  4. What are some signs of culture shock?
    1. When a person doesn’t like the food of another country.
    2. I think when a person starts to feel sad and lonely, especially without family.
    3. Your answer:
  5. Which country would you like to visit and why?
    1. I would love to travel to Iceland because I heard the landscapes are beautiful.
    2. I want to go to South Korea because I heard the street food is delicious.
    3. Your answer:


Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.

  1. What do you think is interesting about your culture?
  2. Describe the way people greet each other in your culture.
  3. What don’t you like about your culture?
  4. Tell me some of the typical food in your culture.
  5. Do you use body language in your culture? If yes, tell me about it.


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.


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