ESL trailblazer videos

Culture Lesson: Greetings

This week’s episode focuses on culture and specifically ‘Greetings’. These are my favorite kind of episodes because culture is such an integral part of learning a language and most language courses don’t cover it properly. There is not much language in this episode and that is on purpose. With culture it’s about raising awareness with certain communication made in the language that culture speaks. The most important factor is not only how English speakers greet but also how it can vary from country to country and even regions within those countries. I have provided the examples I have come across in my time traveling and working as a teacher of English. The essence here is that ‘How are you?’ in English is not a real question like it may be in other languages and cultures. In Poland for example, this is a real question that requires coffee and a sit down chat to answer. While in English this question simply means ‘Hi’. The same applies to other greetings. What’s up? How are ya? You alright?(Br) How ya going? (Australia) Yo, Hey, How ya doing? Etc. This awareness is important because my students have expressed frustration with this when initiating a conversation with someone or just simply acknowledging them. So I thought it would be important to cover it. I hope you find it valuable and share your thought on other cultural differences you have encountered in the comments section.

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