Teaching tip: Use your classroom as a resource. The kids can teach you any number of interesting things.
Also: Use materials the students can relate to.
I used part of this lesson from Breaking News English recently and it went down fairly well. My co-teacher had been teaching lessons from a chapter in the class textbook about cultural differences and body language, so this lesson seemed a good fit. As you can see though, the Breaking News lessons are probably written for college ESL students and as you can see, they’ve enough material for more than two classes. I simplified the lesson and only did the true/false quiz, the gap fill in the reading, and the vocabulary activities with the students. The news story had some challenging vocabulary in it but the students got the gist of it.
I introduced the material by asking the students to write down different emoticons they knew. They wrote some on the board and we talked about them. Though I’d seen a couple of Asian emoticons, the students proceeded to show many more that I didn’t know. You can see the below because you might want to see them.
Note the big difference between Asian and Western emoticons: the Asian ones emphasize the eyes and the Western ones focus on the whole face. They also differ in their orientations: Western emoticons go sideways and Asian ones don’t. The Breaking News reading talked about how different cultures look at facial expressions, especially between Asia and the West, so the students instantly related to the reading. They liked learning about new Western emoticons too. Again, the reading may have been a bit too complicated, but the kids accomplished the objective and learned something new.
ㅇㅅㅇ Wow (in Hangeul—the Korean script)
>_< Angry (some of the kids say “cute”)
m>_<m Cute angry / aegyo