Hi Everyone,

Happy Fourth of July!! Today we discussed stereotypes, which we agreed are ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that we hold, that are oversimplified, about a particular type of person or thing. There are lots of types of stereotypes, such as, cultural, racial, gender, sexual, religious, and groups of individuals. We discussed some examples of these and also talked about “national stereotypes” – which pertain to the country, and “cultural characteristics” which relate to the people and behavior. 

We watched this short video which shows us people from various countries and what the stereotypes are about their country and the people. As you watch see if you can remember all the countries and the stereotypes : 

After watching, we agreed that these are very common and not surprising stereotypes, that we are generally aware of. Next we looked at certain adjectives that describe characteristics of countries and people, and in pairs we selected 4 countries and described the characteristics using 2 adjectives. We noted that some of our adjectives were similar because of proximity of countries within a certain region, and certain geographic, political, social, and economic elements also affect characteristics. Good job everyone! 

But the real questions for today were – Why do we use stereotypes? Who are we really? We discussed our heredity and where are families come from – even going back generations. We watched this video “The DNA Journey” which is basically about a contest where many people thought they were French or British or German or Kurdish or Bengali or Icelandic or Cuban or some other nationality, but once they traced their DNA they found very different results. (DNA is the abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid  which is a gene that contains hereditary material in humans, and is passed down from generation to generation.) The test was administered by each contestant giving a sample of their saliva – watch here to see what happened before and after the DNA test.

Afterwards we discussed why people have hostilities towards other countries and people. We talked about the individuals in the video and their reactions to the test results.This video shows us several ways to stop stereotyping, and we all agreed we’d do a DNA test to see what out heredity is, and we all thought we’d be surprised at the results too!

Words of the day

splash (verb) : (of a liquid) to move, fall or hit something in a noisy or messy way          We could hear the waves splashing against the side of the boat.

go bananas (idiom) : {informal} to become very excited or go crazy                                Everyone always goes bananas when the fireworks begin at the Fourth of July celebration on Boston’s Esplanade!   

horse around (phrasal verb) : {informal} to play in a rough or loud way                            He’s such a great dad, he horses around with his kids whenever he gets a chance.

Remember to relax and practice!

See you all in 2 weeks, Friday July 15th.