Taking vocabulary to new heights, The ESL School at NYFA New York introduces Culture Fridays: an immersive weekly lesson that teaches students about history, slang and pop culture.
Culture Fridays first started in Quarter 4 of 2016 as preparation for a group excursion to one of America’s most iconic backdrops: the diner. Prior to the outing, students learned about the history of the diner followed by a montage of diners in American films such as “Pulp Fiction.” Students also learned about typical ordering expressions and diner food staples. The lesson culminated in a trip to a nearby diner where students were greeted with the classic ‘What can I get ya, hun’? and served up the classic eggs and bacon duo.
Since the first Culture Friday excursion, students have gone on to learn everything from the tawdry secrets of Hollywood Babylon history to the inner workings of legal proceedings. The students’ understanding of legal terms was put to the test with a trial re-enactment of Little Red Riding Hood (the hunter was found not guilty). Students have also explored cultural history from the slang/pop icons of the 1950s to the musical impact of NYC hip hop in the 1980s.
Culture Fridays continue to expose students to vocabulary in context through the use of film and history. These lessons also enable students to have the cultural point of reference that provides them with a deeper understanding of American entertainment intrinsic to their education in the film/creative industry. This quarter, students have learned about film history, mental health/taboos and the origins of the American language.
This month, Culture Fridays will teach students about the rich history of the American South and its distinctive dialect/influence on American slang followed by a short reading from “Forest Gump.” Students will also go on to learn about influential countercultures in America as well as slang derived from cult classic films.