What does it feel like to be..American?

No, I”m not going to answer this question in the post. Basically, because I have no practical idea)

The reason a title like this has arisen I will explain, though.

I’m entrusted with writing another unit for a Country Studies course, “Culture in the USA”. This is going to be a little brochure, just like the previous ones I did on Education, Science and Technology. These materials are published at Physics Faculty and are used with students of Physics exclusively. This is the way university publishing works here, teachers supplement  official courses with self-written extra material – grammar, lexis, topics for discussion, loads of ESP stuff like works on Optics, Astrophysics, Thermodynamics, etc. There are textbooks in the library which provide full courses of English for students of Physics..but they were written in the 60s..unbelievable!..Am I the only one who thinks that science well MIGHT have made a little jump forward since then?..Sure not. But it’s hard work to get a course SO specific written, and published here (I hope I”ll be among the ones who will get it done though!))

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 Anyway, the problem we’re facing does not only concern ESP courses. First-year students study General English and the official book (recommended and present in the library) features the Clarks and Stepanov, a Russian scientist visiting the UK, and his “adventures” (he’s lectured on the history of the country, on the sights of London, on customs and traditions and the way the British consume their meals and garden their gardens). I have to admit, it’s almost the most boring book I”ve ever seen (the top one is the notorious BONK book). Luckily, the head of the chair is a great woman who understands that we can’t help our students meet the requirements of the world they’re going to live and work in using these Soviet time textbooks. So four teachers of the chair including me are writing and putting into a test a Country Studies course to use as a supplement for Int+ students. Hopefully, it could become a decent book one day (“decent” means hard cover, colour printing does not seem to function at our faculty, so not many chances to insert pictures IN the book, I”m preparing a separate Picture File).

That was all an intro, as you might’ve guessed=)) Sorry, I think I do get carried away in the prefaces to my posts)))

OK, in a nutshell now: there’s a certain structure I have to follow, it’s rather fixed but I”m allowed to try out different novelties, which will anyway will be looked through and edited. What I”ve thought of introducing in this Culture unit is real experiences of real people..I have to shape the idea into some more or less clear form which will look good in the format already existent..but i’d love to give it a try.

And I will need YOU (if you don’t mind)=)) your views, your stories, your authenticity! This is so simple and yet could be so exciting for our students!

If you feel interested here’s the first task I”ve got for you. Regardless of where you’re currently living, if you consider yourself American, can you please in a couple of sentences write

What does it feel like to be American to you? What does it mean to be American? 

I can’t wait to read some replies..you’ll be quoted in the beta-version of my brochure properly, and you can link to your blog or website if that looks appropriate!

Thanks a lot in advance, I hope my idea will get going, well if it doesn’t..I will think of something else 😉

 

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2 thoughts on “What does it feel like to be..American?

  1. I’m sorry, I’m a little late in responding. To me, being an American is an awesome responsibility. Without question America has been blessed, economically, technologically, culturally and spiritually. Americans today are in a difficult position. Due to an ever-shrinking planet, we must find a way to maintain our independent spirit and innovation while cooperating with many other global players. I have found through my own exposure to other cultures, that what generally sets Americans apart from other people is a sense of optimism about the future.

  2. […] the power of crowdsourcing… and was overwhelmed by the results! In my two posts, “What does it feel like to be American” and “What does it feel like to be British” I challenged my PLN by asking them, British […]

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