Family Stay "What If?"

Family Stay "What If?"

Critical Thinking Activity

During the family stay, students will find themselves in situations that require problem solving, social and cross-cultural communication skills. It’s important to go through a few difficult scenarios so that students feel prepared to tackle any situation that may come their way.

The objective of the following activity is to help students practice resolving various categories of problems that may arise while they are staying with their host family. This training will allow them to feel more confident and empowered with actions they can take during this more independent portion of the trip.

Step 1: Have students break into groups and practice the role-plays below. They should decide how they might handle the scenario and how they would communicate their message in the target language.

Step 2: Come together and talk through the role-plays as a group. How did different students respond to the situations? What would you, as the teacher, prefer them to do in the example scenario?

  • You have just arrived in your host family’s home and they are excited to talk with you and get to know you. The family members are talking very fast and they think you understand everything in the target language. The truth is, you really don’t understand very much. How, when and where will you explain this to the family members?

  • You are about to have your first meal with your host family and they offer you wine or beer with your meal. You don’t want to offend your host family, but the rules for the trip prohibit you from drinking alcohol in any setting. What will you do?

  • It’s after dinner and it’s late. Your host sibling asks you if you want to go out to a party. You are feeling very tired and although you would like to go if it were earlier, you really need to sleep. How will you explain to your host sibling that maybe another night would be better to go out?

  • You just arrived at a party with your host brother or sister. You notice right away that many of the students are drinking and smoking. Do you stay at the party or ask your host sibling to take you home? How would you handle the situation if you stayed? How would you ask your host sibling to leave if you are uncomfortable?

  • You have been in your family stay for three days and your host sibling doesn’t talk to you very much. You feel like you have very different interests and that your host sibling isn’t very concerned with getting to know you. You think you would probably get along better with a different host family. How do you respond? How would you communicate this to the family and/or to your teacher?

  • You really like your host sibling and you like to hang out with them. However, they have a girl/boy-friend that is hanging out with you both almost all the time. You are not comfortable with this and you would prefer to spend more time with your host sibling and their other friends. You plan to speak with your host sibling about the situation and you hope your host sibling agrees with you. What will you say? What if your host sibling does not agree with you?

  • You remain in contact with two of your U.S. American traveling companions during the family stay. You learn that their host families take them out frequently to visit various sites. You like your host family, but they don’t go out at all and haven’t taken you anywhere. Your host family likes to talk about politics and they watch a lot of television and read newspapers. You want to change your host family because they are boring. What would you do?

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