“Hamburgers are better in USA than here?”

“What do you want to learn about American culture or the English language?”

I recently asked each of my students in France, who are ages 14-22, to write three anonymous responses to this question. I am an assistante d’anglais teaching in a public lycée that also has a post-baccalauréat program. I have the freedom to create my own lesson plans for the majority of the classes that I teach. I decided that my lessons would have a good chance of success if they targeted aspects of American culture in which the students are interested.

In working with several hundred students this week during half-hour and full-hour lessons, I gradually got an idea of their primary interests. However, I am not a specialist in all of the areas that their questions address and I obviously can’t represent the huge diversity of opinions in America regarding politics, sports, etc. So, I’d appreciate reading any (school-appropriate) input you’d like to leave in the comments section below!


A sample of French students’ questions:

“What are the famous legends/myths in America? I want to learn about how does the school scheme in America? I really WANT to learn colloquial/familiar expressions in English that we couldn’t understand if you were not here to teach us, or expression which can be complicated to get for a french people.”

“The misteries about Area 51, The vehicles vocabulary (like mechanic), The food vocabulary”

“I want to know what is a large way (km) for an American”

“I want to learn about what US university’s ‘confrerie’ [fraternities]. I want to learn about US sports cars. I want to learn about US technologys.”

“I want to learn about the California, What people are doing in California. I want to learn more about Monsanto, the FDA and all the groupe, who are feeding the American like Mcdo [McDonald’s], etc… I want to learn more about ‘what the American think about there president’. and our president [François Hollande]

I want to learn about -American football -Politic -Junk food”

The army”

What university students do for fun? How was America created? Talking about arms (weapons) in USA.”

I am interested in American 70’s music, like Woodstock festival. I am interested about the american history like the secession war. I am would like to know more about Spring break and Rap US”

Read and understand sing. History of England.”

-I want to learn about gangs in America”

I want to learn if the life is expensive.”

Famous person like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, etc.”

-Pompom girls existe really or not? -American dream is it idealist as many films?”

I’d like to know more about: -your diplomes -your glasses shops -the way “normal” peoples lives in USA”

What are hours for students at school? Have students the same schedule that us? Is Louisiana beautiful like in photographies? Hamburgers are better in USA than here?”

“Vocabulary of “old time”, vocabulary for example of years 60-70, and before, 1800…example = To verbe SHALL. Today it means a proposition and it’s not a verbes. “SHALL we go on?”

I want to learn about the ethnic diversity in USA”

When to use ‘the’”

“I don’t want to learn something special. I’m ready to learn everything!”

It appears that I have my work cut out for me.